Dear Andrea,

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Yes, we are in Andalusia. We travelled all the way to the Cabo de Gata Nature Park, in the very South of Spain, in order to hear Spanish families scream at each other and play loud, inferior music over their stereos (usually placed outside.)

Such is life at a camping site. Mostly, we stay in the wild, in Burke's little Westfalia motor home, but sometimes I cannot take the extreme lack of luxury anymore, and need proper bathing facilities, as well as washing machines, dryers and nanny services for Barnaby. 

Burke driving his Westfalia in Biarritz

I keep having to go to Recepción, in order to get help with the internet, or buy coins for the washer. The girl at the counter has a huge, balloon like belly which she supports with both hands as she rises, with great difficulty, whenever I report to her desk. I would love to say "My dear girl, you are pregnant - don't get up!" but under no circumstances will I do that. The risk of error is too great. I have erred at least a dozen times, in my life. Because apparently, even if a woman looks like she is 9 months pregnant with a baby elephant, she is just out of shape in a weird way, and will react with great indignation if I ask her when the little one is due.

It's not my fault. I have always had a perfect figure, and I can't be expected to distinguish between balloon shaped body fat, accumulating entirely in the lower abdomen, and gestation. An elephant is pregnant for 2 years, did you know that? 

The Westfalia getting towed in San Sebastian

Oh drat, my internet connection is very slow...Shall have to report back to Recepción. I almost feel guilty, when that whale of a girl gets up, with such obvious exhausted misery, to tend to my internet problems. Instead of saying "when's the baby due?" I think I will just advise her to lay off the deep fried octopus. Will have to look that up in my Berlitz Spanish for Travellers booklet, as well as "for goodness' sake, you almost look as if you are pregnant."




Anonymous said...

Dearest Lisa,
How I admire your bravery. You're always on the go, living in countries I would never dream of visiting. For the exact reasons you mention in this post. I've been on both ends of this tricky situation a number of times. Still you this sort of thing, awkward as it may seem, has to be addressed. I mean what if her water broke while you're in Recepción? One cannot be expected to pretend it is an acute form of incontinence, can one?

Lisa on 12 April 2012 at 09:18 said...

Oh my goodness I am so TRAUMATIZED by having wrongly guessed that some bulky woman was pregnant, so many times, that I'd pretend I hadn't seen the waters flowing - or indeed, like you say, I'd pretend I thought she was peeing on the ground, for some medical or psychological reason. Anything - just so long as I don't blurt out the "I see you're pregnant!" thing again.

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