It is uncanny how we seem to become comic relief for wherever fate takes us. Tonite Monica and I are sitting in a tapa bar enjoying a glass of wine and a ration of Serrano ham. All very normal, seemingly no more no less than any of the other patrons. Although with my beret I do project a rather roguish Basque mountaineer image. But, then again it may only appear as a meek mild mannered sheep herder. How strange the mind, because in my mind I see myself as a flamboyant notorious French vintner, who is bottling smuggled rotgut wine from Algiers, and bottling it at his chateau, we’ll it isn’t exactly a chateau, it is actually a seedy third floor room of a condemned hostel. Or again I could be a has been French Apache’ dancer who suffered serious brain damage from a collision with a lamp post, now accompanied by his nurse, Monica, who in a previous life was a member of an obscure order of Nuns, and an Andalusian gypsy pickpocket – now retired.
The delusion was shattered when a party of six entered the bar, and the older woman of the party walked straight over to me and asked where I was from, while Ithought I should tell her Condom, France, I answered San Francisco. She turned and told her husband, who then announced to the entire bar that we were from San Francisco, California. He then told us that fifty years ago he had had a Irish coffee at the Yerba Buena cafe. He then launched into a spirited history of the Spanish, and that while his family had only been in Spain for 750 years, man had been in Spain for 30,000 yrs, and the U.S. Had only been around for less than 300 yrs., and all the cities and streets in California had Spanish names – so there. With that we resumed our roles as Peregrinos and walked out.