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Looking foreign

I was in the vet a few weeks ago. There were a couple of Spanish women in front of me talking about their English neighbours. They seemed to think that the couple were nice enough but they soon got on to complaining about how they didn't try to speak Spanish. The veterinary nurse agreed that none of them/us tried to speak Spanish.

Everyone agrees that I don't look Spanish. It's not the hair, or the height or the clothes or the skin colour. I don't wear Union Flag underpants and, if I wear sandals, I go sockless. But everyone agrees I look like a Briton.

There are often boatloads of tourists in Cartagena. Literally boatloads. They come in big boats early in the mornings and they are usually gone by mid afternoon. Today it's the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas with a potential roster of 4,370 passengers. On Friday there will be the Windsurf and the Thomson Dream. The cruise ships usually moor in the port, basically in the heart of the town. Passengers step off the boat and they have arrived. No need to use a coach for the transfer to the town. Most stroll up past the Roman Theatre, up High Street, past our house and on up Carmen where the old town centre dwindles away. The tourists consult their maps, decide there is nothing close and retrace their steps. By now it's coffee time and the bars and cafes fill to bursting.

Last Friday I was having a coffee as the tide of tourists passed most wore their ship's identity badges as necklaces and took photos. I couldn't decide on the nationality. Probably Brits I thought. I asked the waiter. Germans he said. And today. What nationality would you have this lot down as?

Well, provided that they are tourists and not just the home population stopping off for a beer at mid-day then they are from the United States. Did you know?


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