Back in London, having missed the ‘month’s rain in a day’ climate change event that killed a New Zealand tourist in Kew Gardens (the rain washed down a branch) I’ve gone straight into jumper-and-jeans mode after the 30 degrees-on-beach afternoon I spent in Barcelona yesterday, and have reluctantly realised that I will never be a Mediterranean, probably for the following reasons;
1. Studied Latin, not ‘am Latin’.
2. Keep reading books through siesta.
3. Have trouble adjusting to dinner at midnight (still considered a bit early, even by old ladies).
4. Can’t eat octopus tentacle with one hand, hold sherry in other, look after four children under ten and carry on talking to friend as if this is actually relaxing.
5. Don’t respond to being overtaken by trying to kill other driver.
6. Can’t sit on beach for eight hours listening to iPod while examining fingernails.
7. Don’t tend to break into spontaneous singling/dancing when there are more than three of us standing together in street.
8. Am still bothered by smell of hot drains.
9. Tendency to think of parks after midnight as places for muggers, sex workers, not somewhere to take kids for picnic.
10. At age of five had long list of foods I would not touch, instead of happily being fed razor clams.
11. Simply not used to standing around in street, sitting on steps making phonecalls, or even being outside.
12. Do not look cool with narrow sideburns, shades, skateboards, skinny-fit white shirts, silver jewellery as all non-Latin Northern hemisphere white men have a tendency to the ginger gene.
13. When temperature is 28 degrees I put on shorts, not a scarf.
14. Do not expect Vegetarian Menu to include Foie Gras.
15. Feel embarrassed when I see two dogs stuck together in street, do not laugh loudly and point out sight to children.
16. Fail to cope well with lack of urgency ie. if someone asks me why I have not done something, do not tend to shrug.
17. Used to seeing flowers out of window, not old lady hanging big pants on windowsill.
18. Have a feeling I won’t be able to manage twenty flights of stairs with shopping bags at age of 80.
19. Feel embarrassed when topless girl in thong asks for light.
20. Born to queue, to look awkward in social situations, to speak softly, to always avoid eye contact and to appreciate the value of a decent winter overcoat.
I really wish I was Latin.