Short Story Preview: One Sarong Doesn’t Make a Right
Back in 1955, who would have guessed how drastically times were to change? When, my Swedish friend, Anne-Marie and I chose Spain, that summer, for a holiday, we regarded ourselves as pretty well streetwise travellers. We had overlooked Generalissimo Franco.
‘So we meet in Paris and board the sleeper for Barcelona?’ I checked.
‘Yes. It’s all organised. Pablo will meet us and take us on a little local train to his friend’s hotel at Malgrat.’
Picture us city girls stepping off the Paris-Barcelona express in smart dresses, nylons, and high heels. Pablo looked us up and down and grinned.
‘If only my friends could see me now!’ he chortled, loading our bags onto a trolley, ‘but I warn you, before we reach the hotel, you may have to take your shoes off.’
I pondered this as we rattled along the coast, the train wheels perilously close to the waters of the Med. In the seat in front of me a rotund Spanish lady hugged a laden basket of groceries, while from one arm hanging upside down and tied by its feet, was a live chicken. Another aspect of Spain I had overlooked. I turned my gaze towards the beautiful Mediterranean shimmering in the evening sunlight.
‘At Malgrat,’ Pablo explained, ‘is quicker if we walk back along the railway line, half a mile or so. Is quite safe. Trains only come hourly. But is sandy, so take off your shoes.’