“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
You might recall that quote from Christopher Walken in the compelling movie, A Man On Fire.
But in the case of my wife, the exact opposite was closer to the truth. It was hotter than hell.
If you recall our last episode, I was giving my wife a complete and thorough “tour” by rental car of the frenzied urban streets of San Sebastian, Spain. The town, which is an amazing conclave of the proud and sometimes spirited Basque people, is also a location of a complicated city grid layout, street signs so small they cannot be intended for drivers, and a satellite-driven Garmin GPS map guide, which provides detailed voice turn-by-turn directions that informs you that you just turned down the wrong street, often as you circle the ubiquitous roundabouts as you attempt to just get out of the circle.
Recall the constant “recalculating” of our street navigation that got me in so much trouble, as documented in my previous post.
So, it should be no surprise that my wife—my Basque wife—must have been carefully plotting her next move to take great vengeance upon me (as was the Samuel L. Jackson line in Pulp Fiction), which only took until the next major stop in our 2009 Spain Adventure.
Once we turned in the rental car—the source of my wife’s navigational consternation—we switched to train transportation for the remainder of our trip. After a night in Zaragoza, we were on our way to our next town to tour, Sevilla.
My wife, who I must credit, laid out a wonderful three-week Spanish trek in a manner befitting a travel agent with absolute acumen. Except for the walk from the Sevilla Santa Justa train station to our hotel in the iconic, busy barrio section of town.
While our family could be featured in a Google advertisement with our use of all things Google, this time it apparently lead to a heated situation in Sevilla. I don’t know; maybe you can blame it on Google Maps. (That’s my wife’s story and she is sticking to it.)
What was supposed to be a quick nine minute walk from the train station to our hotel turned into something somewhat longer. Like an hour and a half longer.
Imagine our forced march in stifling temperature and humidity, while dragging our over-stuffed rolling suitcases, with over-weighted shoulder bags hung over my neck. The bumpy urban streets were undergoing such massive amounts of reconstruction; I questioned if I had missed the news of a recent 8.0 earthquake.
I even whipped out the Garmin, which only served to bring back jaded memories of our rental car driving experiences. And a GPS designed for driving doesn’t much appreciate walks across non-drivable areas and traverses on wrong-way streets.
The odd thing was, even after we found our hotel and compared the local maps to the Google Maps printout, we could find none of the roads that Google listed. It was almost like we were in a different city.
Even before we exited the train station, I think my first clue should have been that—contrary to the famous movie line by Dorothy to her dog, Toto, in The Wizard of Oz—maybe we were in Kansas, anymore.
Luckily, part of my weighty burden was a bottle of Rioja Alcorta wine, which was opened even before the suitcases.
Half a bottle later, my misery was mostly a memory.