A Fruitful Interaction – Alicante, Spain

I woke up and caught Federico just before he left for work. He gave me a map and the keys wishing me luck. Little did I know how much I would need it. I drank some tea and minced (a word I picked up from Sonya`s Andy) about in cyberspace before emerging into the real world. As I went out the door, I grabbed the map and the cell phone Fed gave me in case of emergencies.

I wandered around the palm tree lined streets in the not too muggy but warm air and tried to get a sense of direction. I ended up walking about two blocks the wrong way before realizing it and turning back. I took a bit of a detour but finally got on my intended path which would eventually lead me to the playa (beach).

The streets were not too busy and it seems that this city has a nice balance between tourists and locals. There is not too much of either flavor giving it a very relaxed yet authentic feel. I have to wait for the walk signal on the big streets but on the smaller side streets, I can get away with running across.

I walked along Paseo Explanada de Espana browsing the market booths filled with trinkets and souvenirs. Lots of jewelry and scarfs to be had but nothing too out of the ordinary. I was shocked at the amount of piercing stuff for sale and considered getting a new belly ornament. I followed the wavy patterned pavement all the way to Plaza Puerta del Mar where there is big fountain.

I decided against the ever so tempting ice cream from the shop on the corner that seemed to be luring in all the passers. I chose to find myself something healthy so I wandered into a small grocery store manned by a mother and her 8 year old daughter.

“Necessito algo?” she inquired in a soft shy tone looking at me with her big chocolate brown eyes. She carefully placed my choices on the weigh scale concentrating on keeping the running total in her head.

“Algo mas?” this little Spanish angel asked with a gentle smile, getting noticeably more comfortable and confident with her new customer.

I was so captivated by her sweet demeanor that I just kept getting more and more fruit until I ended up with a big bag of apples, pears and grapes. I was pleasantly surprised when the total came to only 1.31E which the mother plucked into the till.

“Muchissimas gracias Senorita,” I thanked my new little friend who gave me a prize winning smile as she graciously handed over my purchase.

The seemingly simple interaction left me feeling joyful and lighter in my step. I guess its little moments like this that make traveling so special to me. They are so rich and its almost as if time slows down while I am in them. They seem to make a deeper impact on my day…if I let them.

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