Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Gulls! The Gulls!

Summer, as I have said before, is an excellent time for sitting at a table outside a cafe watching the world go by. What better way is there to relax on a hot day? So why did I suddenly feel as though I was in the middle of a Hitchcock film the other day?

My friend María and I had been for a stroll down to the harbour, round and about, through the Plaza de Compostela, setting the world to rights as we went. We stopped at the Cafe Maracaibo for refreshments and to continue our chat. As is usual here, the waiter brought us a little snack along with our coffee. And that is where the Hitchcock fi
lm begins!!

From a table nearby there came a mighty crash. A scavenging seagull had just knocked several empty glasses onto the pavement. Fortunately that table was unoccupied. At that moment I spotted a gull homing in on our table. I waved my bag at him and he veered off: useful things handbags!

He had a couple more tries but never got close, to my great relief! We had a table with a sun umbrella so his line of approach (line of attack, more like!) w
as not direct and we were always able to head him off at the pass.

Not so lucky was the chap sitting at another table not far from us but in the shadow of the building and, therefore, without a sun umbrella. Even as the gentleman reached his hand out to pick up a piece of tortilla, down swooped the gull, alighted momentarily on the table and was away, tortilla dangling from his beak.

The poor chap nearly fell of his chair. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone quite so shaken since the two young girls I saw who had a similar close encounter one day on Principe. They were strolling along together, chatting and eating waffles. Suddenly, out of nowhere a gull dived down and tried to steal the waffle from their very hands!

Well, by now María and I had finished our coffee and de
cided it was time to move on. The place was becoming rather dangerous. Our waiter was not around and so we went inside to pay. We were barely through the door when we saw our friend the gull land on our table and tuck into the remains of our snack: fearless, defiant and VERY BIG!

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