So there I was, standing at the bus stop as you do, when you are waiting for a bus. I’d been there about 15 minutes and the bus was due soonish.
Suddenly a car pulls into the bus stop, and the driver opens the window.
Did he want directions? Or was he going to talk on his mobile? (Unlikely as most Spanish continue to drive while talking on their mobiles).
‘Donde va?’ he said. (Where are you going)
‘Málaga,’ I dutifully answered.
‘Viene?’ he asked. (Are you coming)
‘No’ and then I added ‘Gracias.’ Now why I should thank some strange guy who has suddenly pulled up at the bus stop where I am quite clearly waiting for a bus is beyond me, but old habits die hard, and so I politely thanked him for offering something I didn’t want.
The truth is I was totally taken aback. If I had had my wits about me, when he asked where I was going I would have replied by asking where he was going. Or maybe I should have given my ultimate destination – Algeciras, or La Linea, or Gibraltar, or El Peñon. But I just answered honestly like an idiot.
I didn’t even have time to panic or freak out which I normally would have done. Bespectacled middle-aged women standing alone at bus stops do not expect young Spanish men who they have never seen before (nor do they want to see them again) to just pull up and offer them a lift to – wherever. I’m sure he hadn’t noticed my shoes which were oozing mud after the short cut down the (usually dry) river bed. I don’t think he would have liked mud in his nice shiny go-fast-goody.
So I only really thought about it later. The bus stop is on the main road, but no houses immediately near. A small farm on the other side of the road, a few houses further up, and further down, and a plastics firm on the other side of the road down a track. In a way it was quite isolated.
Perhaps I should just have started walking away from him when he pulled up, but how unnecessarily panicky. At least he didn’t get out of his vehicle, and at least there was only one of him.
But how strange. I live more or less equidistant between two bus stops. I may start using the other bus stop though. It’s outside some houses and more people tend to use it.