It’s a gorgeous Sunday in Lugo and A Coruña. Sunny with no chance of rain. A day for drying clothes on the line and spending a siesta in the hammock.
We watched our neighbors cut their field and roll it up into rounds to be dried out in preparation for winter.
The sun coming thru the trees was perfect to get in a little paining in the morning light that comes through windows on the east side side of the house.
Sunday is the day everyone here goes into town to socialize and have lunch. Today, the lines to get into the many pulperías (restaurants serving octopus) in Melide spilled out onto the sidewalks, wrapping around the block.
We sat down for a drink in the shade before lunch. A favorite spot on a warm, almost summer day. The best food in Melide, hands down.
And like so many other culinary moments since moving here, someone paid our tab. It seems Galicians are a very generous people. Nearly half of the time we eat or drink out someone pays our bill or sends us a drink.
This time, it was the project manager for our house renovations and his wife who spotted us from across the way. The waitress let us know it was already taken care of. I stopped by their table on the way out to say thank you.
Part of moving from Valencia to Palas was driven by our desire to live in a small, close-knit community. Where people look out for each other in a neighborly kind of way. We have lived here just over a month and we already feel a part of this community.
Our neighbor, Carmen, popped over with pastries this week. I was doing some writing and she sat down on the porch for a chat. She speaks not one word of ingles. And we all know my español is precarios, at best. But people here do not let that stop them. And, as a result, it keeps me from using shyness as an excuse not to give my language skills a workout.
We were walking back from lunch and Jeff was smiling.
‘A month ago, we went to our first Sunday lunch in Melide. People were greeting each other and I told you in a year that would be us. We would know people, too. It’s only been a month and we already know someone in every cafe we eat in. When I go in to town to the recambio or the ferretería, they bend the over backwards to help, and give me free stuff every time I buy something. We couldn’t have landed in a better place. I’m happy here.’
That’s all I needed to hear. Jeff threw caution to the wind when we packed up three years ago and moved to Spain. In that time, Valencia was never his city. And the pandemic just confirmed it for him. But now, it seems, he’s found where he belongs. We both have. A working community that helps each other. And values substance over style. It seems that was what we were missing all along.