Wanted: cakes and ale.
Life in Cádiz is great. After a week I felt more at home then I had felt in Belgium in three years, and only fourteen months later I set foot on Dutch ground again. But of course Cádiz had it’s own drawbacks that made me think of my grey, cold, organized home country with more melancholy than I could have possible imagined before. Rare moments it were, but still.
"Mamááá!" Wuh? I hear Nero barking. Birds chirp in the courtyard. "Mamááá!" Somewhere a baby cries. It’s not even half past six yet. I hide my head in my pillow while I try to convince it that I really haven’t woken up yet. My head doesn’t believe me. "Ricardo, callate, ya vengo! Mamááá!" Upstairs the dog goes mad.
If I wouldn’t know better, I would get out of bed and tell my neighbour that her mother at the first floor was probably still asleep. Just like the rest of the house. Was. That the stairs lead to the first floor and that babies don’t always get it when you mean well by shouting that they should be quiet because you’re on your way. It would be a waste of time and energy, so much I have learned from living between the Gaditans for a year. Besides, despite of the noise, my bed still feels way too comfortable to get out of it yet.
"Queeeee?!" finally someone yells an answer at the first floor. In my first weeks here, I couldn’t understand what the problem of the day was, even if I tried to do so by listening carefully. Now I often try hard not to understand. Sometimes it works. Today it doesn’t. I hear that she’s got to go to the hospital, that her little troublemaker can’t go with her for obvious reasons, that he can’t stay at home either, because daddy made a double appointment while he promised that he would be there today, that she can’t remember how many times this happened recently and that… In the meantime I’ve found my earplugs in the mess at my night table and a moment later I’ve also found the button in my head to switch off the sound that still comes through. I make myself comfortable again and I don’t even hear the front door slam when they leave.
A little later I’m awakened by waves of nausea in quick succession, seperated by short intervals of time without any sign of sickness. I try to remember what I ate yesterday. I’m never queasy. A little shaky I go towards the bathroom; showers have a magical effect on me. For a moment a little stream of water flows out of the shower head, but very soon I hear a desperate grumbling that passes on to a soft kind of bubbling before it ends up to be all quiet in the water pipes. Oh, right. No water. After three mornings like this, a note had appeared on the door, notifying that they were “working on it”. Gracias. End of message. No idea at what time they’d start. Or be ready. No idea for how many days they’d be “working on it”. Well, today they were obviously, day number nine, and they started earlier than the days before. Or so it showed. Great.
I collected the water that was left in the pipes of the sinks in a tub, and I tried to refresh myself a bit. The magical healing shower-effect failed to appear. Every thirty minutes I was surprised by attacks of nausea that where rather heavy, so I decided to skip my breakfast for once. A walk along the beach didn’t bring much relief either and in the afternoon I threw up, for the first time since I was a preschooler in the toilets of the 3rd grade. Just in the streets, but I jumped into an alley in time and I hadn’t eaten anything that my stomach could evacuate. Strictly speaking it doesn’t even count.
As quickly as it had come over me, the nausea disappeared in the next hours and in the evening I felt good enough to have tapas for dinner again. Later it turned out that the faulty sewerage hadn’t been able to deal with the big amounts of rain, and that as a consequence “something went wrong with the quality of the tap water”. Almost everyone had had a day like mine. Cheers!