Monday, 30 August 2010

Adelaide is a long, thin city

which stretches along the coast from the southern suburb of Port Willunga to Gawler and beyond in the north. It is caught between the sea and the hills. Our hills are not high. Mt Lofty is the highest point at 710m - barely an ant hill compared with Mt Everest.
Unlike Everest however it is possible to drive a short distance up to "Windy Point" and look down on the city. From there is it possible to see how flat Adelaide really is. It is also possible to see how many trees there are - essential for soaking up some of the summer heat! It is also possible to pick out some of the main features such as the airport, the desalination plant which is a blot on the landscape at one end and the power station which is an essential blot on the landscape at the other end. In between it is possible to identify other landmarks and major roads. Visitors usually find it interesting to make a brief detour there.
We visited with our overseas guests and, as usual, found other people there. Some of them were from Peru. They were being shown around by someone who now lives here. My sister took a photograph for them so they could all appear together. The Peruvians did not speak English.
They smiled rather awkwardly and shyly at us but my sister was already telling the girl who now lives here that she owns some Peruvian pan-pipes and a Peruvian flute. Suddenly there was chatter and the local girl was hard pressed to try and interpret it all.
Most of our few South American migrants come from Chile or Argentina. I asked if she was from Peru or Chile. Chile.
The Peruvians had turned back to take in the scenery. My sister and our guests took more photographs. The Chilean and I talked for a short while. I asked if she knew my Chilean friend. Yes, she had met him. How did I know him? I explained and added that we had a common interest in the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Suddenly I was being hugged. We had not exchanged names but, using the Spanish term my friend uses, she told me she knew who I must be.
I am "the cat". I speak their language. No, I tell her, my Spanish is almost non-existent. She laughs and tells me in Spanish, "No, you love our poetry. You speak our language."
I wonder if that is true.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How do you purr in Spanish? :-) Bob C-S