Saturday morning. A much-diminished sailing school is out on the bay. Usually in June the little boats are out in force on a Saturday morning. Today there is only a handful. The gloomy weather must be putting them off. You would think that a bit of cloud and damp would not affect apprentice sailors.
After breakfast I pop out to the supermarket to buy a few things - pasta, the makings of pasta sauce, bottle of wine and so on. On the way out I grab a bag of recyclable rubbish to put in the container near the supermarket entrance.
Because the supermarket is just next door I don’t bother with a coat or jacket. As I step outside I realise it is starting to rain ... again! How very annoying!
As I hurriedly sort my recyclables - glass to one container, plastics to another - I hear a voice cry, “!Ay, señora!” And I find myself involved in a bit of a hug and kisses on both cheeks situation. Soy-Muy-Pobre, at one time our regular supermarket beggar is back. And she is SOOOO pleased to see me. Probably because I am a bit of a soft touch, usually giving her a few coins just to get away.
After the initial delight of seeing me again, she reverts to her usual whine and tells me once again how poor she is and please will I give her ten euros!!! A soft touch I may be but not that soft a touch!
She complains that the supermarket won’t let her stand in the doorway but make her stand out on the street. But she has a warm jacket on whereas I have bare arms so I slip her a euro and escape as fast as possible.
Note to self: try to avoid the supermarket on a Saturday morning.
Soy-Muy-Pobre probably knows that there are more people in and out of the store on a Saturday morning. During the rest of the week it is likely she begs in some spot where there are richer pickings than at our end of town. Maybe she even has a job. That is unlikely, though, or at best it will be something menial because I doubt she has much by way of qualifications. However, she looks cleaner and more respectable than other beggars you see around and in the past I have seen her taking her son to school. She is very proud of him.
But we are in the 21st century and nobody should have to be standing outside a supermarket with a poorly-written sign asking for help!