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September 15th 2017
Published: September 16th 2017
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Issy's feeling a bit better, which is good news.

It's raining; my iPad says that it's fourteen degrees outside, and it'll be raining for the rest of the day. We decide that if we come to Europe again next year we need to come at least a month earlier, while it's still really summer. It's probably warmer in Melbourne right now. We think about taking a long drive to the southern end of the Costa Brava, but decide that it'll almost certainly be raining and cold there too and that we should leave this for another day when the weather will hopefully have improved. I thought that people came to live on the Costa Brava because of its warm climate. Fourteen degrees in the middle of the day, in what is still supposed to be summer, isn't warm in anyone's language, except possibly Siberian, and I'm not sure there are too many of them here.

We decide to go for a drive around the local area. We head off through Canyelles and Almadraba, but the road quickly peters out into a dirt track through the National Park. We backtrack and drive back up to Puig Rom. Perhaps unsurprisingly it's even windier, wetter and colder up here, and Issy says she feels like she's back up at the summit of the Rigi in Switzerland.

We drive aimlessly across the pancake flat coastal plain to the south of Roses. It looks to be very fertile agricultural country, with seemingly endless fields of apples, corn and olives. We hope to find a road that follows the coast, but they all seem to only go into and out of the coastal camping grounds. There aren't too many road signs out here and we get lost going through most of the many small villages. We see a large campervan that looks like it might know where it's going, so we decide to follow it. It turns out to be more lost than we are and all we end up doing is repeating the same U-turns that it's doing. We see a large truck hurtling towards us on the wrong side of the road. But no, it's us who are on the wrong side; fortunately we manage to lurch back onto the right side just in time to avoid a nasty collision.

We drive back into Roses to get some lunch. The rain's now heavier than ever, so decide we'll probably be better off vegging back at the apartment for the rest of the day, and hoping that it'll clear up tomorrow.

Issy Googles "Japanese restaurants near me" and comes up empty, so we wander into Canyelles in search of dinner yet again. The top rated restaurant's booked out, as it was last night, so we go into the only other eatery that we haven't been to yet. The waitress arrives with my tall dessert glass of ice cream. As she goes to put it down the cup falls over and the contents tips out all over the table. I suspect she's glad we can see the funny side; we all get the giggles. It's been a fairly boring day; this has probably been the highlight. Most of the people in here seem to French, and the other young waitress seems to speak fluent French and English. We ask her how many languages she speaks and how she learnt them. She says she speaks Catalan, Spanish, English, French and a bit of Dutch. She says that her family's French, and that she picked up English just from working here. She says that she finds English the most difficult of the five languages, but we 're not having any trouble at all understanding her. I don't understand how anyone could possibly pick up a difficult language just by working in a restaurant; but her brain's clearly wired a bit differently to mine. She says that she only speaks just enough Dutch to get by here. She says it's all deep guttural noises that make her throat hurt, and then goes on to demonstrate. I'm glad that we've finished eating. I've often wondered what language multi-lingual people think in. We put this to some of Issy's relatives, who are all fluent in Maltese and English, and they were split roughly half and half which left us none the wiser.


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