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On Industrial Estates

Nearly everyone who visits us asks if the water is safe to drink. Some of our visitors try to bargain on market stalls. When a leftover donkey goes past it's as though that's the proper Spain, the Spain that wears flouncy frocks and sombreros.

I was wandering through an Industrial Estate yesterday and thinking about how they're all so similar, everywhere. I'd got to the shopping centre and I was having a coffee in the chain ice cream parlour when an sms arrived from the garage to say that they'd finished servicing my car and that it was ready for collection. The man who completed my paperwork wore a white shirt that sported the name of the garage and his department.

I had a conversation with my language partner about the endless varieties of coffee you can order in a bar (Spaniards have more words for coffee than Innuit have for snow!) and, as I walked home I saw a group of people sitting on the grass outside their block of flats on folding chairs with the inevitable snacks spread out around them.

It's odd. So much the same, so much familiar and yet so many differences.


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