#158: The blond man at the estate - 2009-10-19
After two hours of heated and irreproducible discussions, the kids found a country path, and decided to follow it. To the other side of the road, there was an unpassable wall of bushes, clearly the limits of a ranch.
After a short walk, they found the front door, fully open. They called, and nobody answered, but soon they saw a man bringing a box with vegetables to inside a wooden hut.
- We are going to speak with him, - Pedro suggested - so he sells us something to eat!
- Hey, calm on, Pedro! - Eliana warned - It's not necessary to...!
- But I'm hungry!
- How can you... if we ate a goose in the morning, Pedro!
- But it was tiny!
- I'm hungry too, Eli. - Hugo added - What we are going to eat?
- Look! They sell potato chips! Hahahaha!
- NO CHIPS! Just bare bread and fruits of the season for you! I'm not going to eat now because...
- That! I won't eat for now! We need to be careful with the few resources that we have, and I'm not like you who are used to eat, and eat, and eat!
- I won't eat either, Eli. - Rosa indicated - I'm not hungry now; besides...
- What happens, Rosa?
- Nothing. It's just that I would like to learn...
- To learn what?
- To fast...
- Fasting? You? Do you really feel able to prove that you can stop being as gluttonous as you're known to be, when necessity merits so? Are you sure?
- Well, I...
- Because if you really wish to undertake something like that, I must tell you, it's not like you can just stop eating. It is necessary to go little by little while changing one's nutritional habits. You can't force something so sudden, at least you must eat a fruit today before sleeping. In fact, I would prefer that... but on the other hand...
- Stop it, Eli! Let's go buy something!
- Ok, ok, kids. Let's see, four pieces of bread, a sachet of powder juice and eight fruits, costing...
- 600 pesos. For each one of us...
- Np, Hugo! I'm calculating the ration for everyone!
- For everyone? - Pedro said, staring at Eliana's eyes - it does not seem enough to me, it's too little...
- But with our luck it's likely that we won't make it home in at least a month! For that reason I try to stretch our resources, oh....
- So you can still have some money for your savings, then. Or not? :)
Hugo's joke infuriated Eliana.
- GRRR! I'm betting that if you had to administer this money, now we would spend it all, and later we would starve halfway. Right? Assume it! Pedro and you aren't able to save a single peso because you spend every coin you earn in nonsense! Now, we'll buy this and nothing else!
- But we have to save something to eat for later...
After hearing this, Eliana realized that something was going wrong. She wore a brainless look in her face and could just think of saying:
- What do you mean with "huh"? I understand that you need to save money, but we aren't going to find a place like this every few kilometers! And there we won't be able to eat our money! Get it?
Eliana waned... then paused to think during some seconds, whispering something unintelligible, and soon replied, with tears in her eyes...
- Oh, you're right! I'm going to buy something else for later, and as an afterthought I'm going to eat something now too because this trip isn't doing me good!
- Did you see that that goose was small?
- No, it was a big one... but we have walked an enormous distance. Okay, let's go.
- Er... if you excuse me...
- What happens, Rosa?
- It's just that... it would prefer to wait for you outside.
- Huh? Why?
- Because entering there scares me, I have a bad feeling about this...
Everyone stared at Rosa.
- Oh, ok. Hugo, stay with Rosa and take care of her.
Eliana and Pedro entered, still discussing on the amount of food that they were going to buy. Nevertheless, little they could do, since the man who was there spoke to them in a language that they could not understand.
- What happened? - Rosa asked them as she saw them coming with empty hands.
Pedro quickly pushed Rosa to inside the hut.
- You talk with him. You will understand him.
Without noticing, she was already in front of that blond man of stout complexion and skin reddened by the sun.
Rosa too had trouble while trying to communicate with that man, because it was very hard for her to pronounce certain sounds not present in Spanish. Despite that, she could buy eight pieces of bread and ten apples and two sachets of powder juice. Also, she convinced him to give her some empty plastic bottles, that Pedro proceeded to fill with fresh water, together with the bottles they brought for the journey inside their backpacks.
As Rosa paid and proceeded to leave, the man stopped her, because he wanted to tell her something. Rosa wanted to ask him where they were, how to get to a city... Then, the man told her, with a smile, something that wasn't quite welcome by Rosa, because she immediately slapped the man and ran away fleeing from that place.
- Rosa! What happened!?
Everyone went to follow Rosa. As they saw no one following them, they wished that Rosa would stop running, but she was crying. Finally she stopped running, and started crying over a tree.
- What's going on, Rosa? Did he do anything to you?
Rosa answered in that man's language, I don't know exactly what, something like:
- Huhren syeh syeh, eekh sprahkhen neekht espahnis-khen, oond eekh kahnn neekht neekhts furstehkhen, fawn dehm syeh sahghen, ahber... Kohnnten syeh meet meer in mine-em Packet hoiteh ahbend blie-ben?
- What the heck was that, Rosa?
- How could he say that to me!?
- Eh? What does it means?
- ... I'd rather not say.