We went to the local Christmas fair this morning, an ideal place for picking up little knick knacks and bumping into people we haven’t seen in a while. In fact I managed to bump into someone I don’t remember how I even know, but she definately knew me. I kept the conversation going (in Spanish I’ll have you know) whilst trying to figure out a) what her name was, b) how she knew me or indeed c) any tiny clue at all which would mean I could personalise the conversation beyond the mildly interested, ‘And how is your family?’ style of questioning.
I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t manage to identify her, but we wished each other a very merry Navidad and my daughter, Bobo and I walked on our way.
Living in such a small community, after living in London, came as quite a shock to me when I first moved here – I couldn’t get used to people knowing my business, or thinking that it was okay that they knew my business. And sometimes you get too close to someone that you subsequently regret doing it, and occasionally you know that if you bump into certain individuals that there will be words ‘said’. So it was with an anxious heart that I came face to face with a couple who have been avoiding me for a few weeks now: actually, ignoring me would be more accurate. We drop our kids at school, I frantically wave at them and they pretend as if they haven’t seen me as they drive away in their car. Well this time, there was no escape, they had a stall at the fair, and I bluntly, but politely, stood there in front of them until they had to say hello. It went okay, whatever thing it is that they are cross with me about, wasn’t mentioned. I bought something from their stall, gave them an idea for another place they could go to sell their stuff, and left…. feeling rather proud of myself. Have bridges been mended, is it all good now? Who knows, in this little village it can be all smily happy people to your face, whilst behind your back it’s et tu brute and the knife sharpener.
But what else to do except be nice? I don’t know why they have been avoiding me, I don’t know even if it’s just my imagination; perhaps coincidentally they both need visits to the opticians, or is it that I am finally beginning to get close enough to the local village people to be treated as one of them in some cases?
The Mallorquins have an odd personality trait: (which has been confirmed by other Mallorquin friends of mine), even if you know them really well they will not say hello to you first in the street, in the fear that you might snub them or not recognise them. That they will be humiliated by the fact that you did not return the greeting. Interesting that such a tough, resiliant race of people should also be so sensitive.