Saturday, 20 August 2016

Cafe culture: Pigeons, Wifi, Childcare.

Sitting on the terraza of the cafe at the Castro Park this afternoon, I had a running battle with pigeons who know no fear and simply land on your table. A small boy at a nearby table was highly amused and got up from time to time to chase them away. In the end I just moved tables - the sun was moving round to mine anyway - and left the bowl of crisps to the flying vermin. 

When the waitress came out and saw that I had moved and heard why, she laughed but went on to say how she hates the cheeky things. She reckons that they are protected and that it is against the law to kill them. I fail to see how they can be a protected species. There are too many of the dratted creatures for that. Far more likely is that it is just impossible to keep your cafe terrace free of them no matter what you do. 

Apart from the pigeons, the cafe up at the Castro Park is a nice spot to sit and watch the world go by. Their wifi is a bit erratic but on the whole it's reliable enough to let you catch up with your mail and read the papers. 

We rely a lot on cafes with wifi. We used to use a mobile dongle but recently had a bit of an argument with the Vodafone people when they ascribed our €20 worth of internet to the wrong number and failed to put it right. So now it's wifi cafes for us. We have a network of them in a variety of places: Vigo, Pontevedra, Sanxenxo pretty much wherever we go! 

While Phil is playing in the chess tournament at Mondariz, he calls me when he is on his way home and I meet him at one of our usual haunts, taking the laptop with me. We both catch up with our internet stuff and Phil finds put from the tournament website who he is playing the next day. 

Last night little Hugo was in the cafe. We have been watching Hugo since he was a tiny thing. He's always been a holy terror. When he had just learnt to walk, and, perhaps more importantly, run, but had not yet learn ANY sense whatsoever, he used to push the door of the cafe open and do a runner down the street. It must have kept his parents fit. He is about three now and has not improved greatly. He no longer does a runner but demands a lot of attention and shouts a lot. His grandmother's way of dealing with his little fits of bad behaviour is to tell him she no longer loves him - ¡Ya no te quiero! - and to tell him to phone his father and have him come and collect him. Next moment she smothers him in kisses. 

No wonder the child is a mess!

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