J.J. and I really enjoy meeting people. We look upon it as an opportunity to learn something new. It is especially delightful to meet an old friend you haven’t seen for over 50 years.
Eddy and Tony are J.J.’s high school classmates. Both of them are Spanish nationals and long-time residents of Madrid. Not having seen Eddy for over a half century, J.J. gave him a description of what he and I will be wearing. That was unnecessary. Eddy parked his car in front of our hotel and immediately greeted J.J. with a bear hug.
The two of us met Tony and his family in Manila last March so our greeting was more casual. The cozy neighborhood restaurant where they reserved a table was packed. Over a wonderful selection of tapas, the four of us had an interesting and lively conversation. We discussed about Spain’s social security system, public health care and overall quality of life for retirees.
Spain is a home for thousands of elderly Britons retired and living on government pensions. Consequence of Brexit also affects British migrants both working and retired in Spain. Likewise, what happens to Spaniards who are working in Britain? Having family members living in Briton is a personal concern for Eddy. His son works in London.
Bilingual conversation flowed naturally and easily and continued when we changed the venue to our hotel coffee shop. We promised to keep in touch and bid farewell until our next visit.
“Nothing makes the earth so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”
—Henry David Thoreau
Aloha -- Cathi