WHEN I was a 13-year-old-looking 17-year-old, a young Spanish girl from Bilbao who, through my father’s business ties with Magafesa, came to England for a few days for ‘the English experience.’
She was only 20, but dressed with such sophistication that if Audrey Hepburn herself had come to stay, I couldn’t have been more impressed.
She had naturally pouty lips, often puffing defiantly on a Ducados (the strongest black tobacco you can find in a cigarette). She wore stylish clothes; checkered, drainpipe trousers, high, round-necked sweaters, always tucked into the pleated waist, super-stylish high heeled black ankle boots, all topped off with a typical Spanish neck scarf lightly swirled and draped to perfection.
Obviously she made quite an impression on me which is why, when we bumped into each other 40 years later whilst recording Marbella Now TV at the harbour last summer, it was more than just a pleasant surprise. We try to meet up at least once a week now and there’s always much to talk about. Last week she brought up my column in the EWN ‘Easter’ edition, commenting on the significant differences between the Spanish and English celebrations.
She couldn’t get her head around how we could be revelling at a time of sorrow, and she didn’t understand what eggs had to do with Easter and the death of Christ. It didn’t make sense to her.
Unfortunately I had no idea why we paint eggs and make and flaunt hats; the best I could muster was perhaps the celebrating of the resurrection and abundance as opposed to commiserating the loss and demise? Like with spring, a time for rebirth and joy?!? (Not my most impressive moment).
Then, whilst recounting her recent trip to Japan we found ourselves back to basic differences between the Spanish and English. She felt proud to have access to all the modern apps to converse in as much Japanese as possible during her trip, understanding that she was abroad and needed to make herself understood, as a guest in their country. Not to do so would be ‘prepotente.’
At first I said it wasn’t as rude as she was interpreting as this word is a stronger version of ‘high-handedness,’ but that’s what she meant.
It would seem Brits (particularly) are so full of ourselves and feel so superior to the locals, that there is no need to invest time in getting to know them nor try to speak their language. It was good to talk about it and see it from her point of view.
That’s what UNMS2019 is all about – the bonding of 147 resident nationalities in Marbella to understand each other better, through our commonalities.
So please come on Tuesday from 9.30am at Finca Amalur Alabardero and take part in this free, informal community get-together. It’s a great opportunity to network and perhaps appreciate things from a different perspective.
Please register beforehand online: http://rtvmarbellanow.com/unms2019
Hugs and happiness