Just like that…

It’s all disappeared. Seriously, in one day all the Fallas are gone. All the fireworks are over. We have heard not one today. Walking around this morning and all evidence of what has been going on for the last week is no where to be seen.

Crossing the road, the water trucks are hosing it all down and the bin workers are out in force. By noon, it’s just gone. If you look closely, you can see burn marks from the fireworks on our sidewalk, but that’s all that’s left of what has kept us up for the last week.

Today, went down to Central Valencia via Metro to see our banker and walked back home. On the way home, Jeff couldn’t seem to find a hair salon or barber open to get a haircut. Perhaps this is a day off for all Valencian hairdressers. I’m not sure what their patron saint might be but there is not one hair cutting place open, when the rest of Valencia seems back to normal. Perhaps it’s the patron saint of the first day of Spring.

I decided to head out on my own for a coffee and stopped into el Chino. I need coffee cups and a coffee pot – never mind I can’t grind the beans I bought, as I have not found a coffee grinder yet. But I’m optimistic that one will present itself. Our local el Chino is a big one so I knew they would have what I needed and they didn’t disappoint.

I gathered my purchases and headed to the check out. And what happened? Again, the guy gave me some free stuff, AND lactose-free milk.  I don’t have any idea why. Last time I spoke to our daughter, Emilie, on the phone, she was adamant this was a fishy situation.

‘I wouldn’t drink free milk. It doesn’t seem right.’

So I came home and showed Jeff my purchases and told him about the continuing GWP’s I scored.

‘That guy has a thing for you.’ he said.

‘No, he doesn’t.’

‘He never gives me free stuff.’ he pointed out.

‘Well. Maybe he gave me free milk because I was buying a coffee pot.’

‘Yeah. Well, last time he gave you free milk and you bought a garbage can.’

I thought about it. Perhaps he’s right. But it makes me uncomfortable. The guy usually fires rapid Spanish, and I think a little Chinese, at me. Waving his arms and pointing at stuff. And today he said the only words I’ve understood so far.

‘Angelina Jolie. Movie Star.’

‘What?!!’ I said to him, wide eyed. He pointed at me, smiled and then continued with our usual, unintelligible interaction. Now I’m not naive. Never in my entire life – even when I was much younger and unwrinkled, did I ever resemble Angelina Jolie on my best day, through rosy a camera filter, in the dark.

But the light went on. I’ll be getting free milk from el Chino from now on. So there is an upside to this crazy charade this guy and I have going on. Leaving with my bags, I realized, finally things are getting back to normal.

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