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One spainiard I had the pleasure of meeting was named Perfecto, and everyone called him Tito. We had our one on one conversation later in the week and he was so cheerful and fun to talk to. I told him my plan to go to Lisbon after getting back to Madrid and he suggested that I go to Portugal from where we were in the north west of Spain, since it was closer anyway, and it would be easy to get to Porto and then down to Lisbon. I decided that was a pretty good idea so we worked it out that we would ride to Salamanca together with another Anglo and then he would rent a car as he planned and drop me off in Porto on his way home to Vego.
I couldn’t really say no to such an offer and it just reminds me how good it is to not have everything planned out, because things like this happen. I wasn’t supposed to go to Porto but had been hearing how lovely it was and was a little disappointed I couldn’t make it there. And then suddenly I was.
Tito works in a car parts manufacturing company and travels a lot to West Virginia and around the world, and he works a lot. He told me he got in the industry early in his career and in his position it’s hard to change or move, so he, like others that I’ve met, encouraged me to take my time deciding what career to go after. He has two adorable daughters and a nice home on the coast and I can tell he really loves his family. He has a great sense of humor, too, and is always smiling and joking.
We got to Salamanca and the car rental place his company had arranged was closed, and we went all around town trying to find one that was open. He was pretty frustrated but stayed positive, and was laughing because he had a similar bad car rental experience in West Virginia and couldn’t really believe it was happening again. He figured it out with his travel agent lady, Olivia, who he kept calling and worked it out for him, but we had to wait awhile for the rental place to open so we sat down for lunch.
We had a really nice time and great conversation and he was really stressing that I go into music and try out for a singing competition. He said he loves all types of music and goes to music festivals and insisted that I was just as good as some of those artists he’s seen. He encouraged me to sing in the car once we got going and we chatted easily throughout the drive, and laughed a lot.
I felt just so lucky to have this experience and to get to know him a little more and ease out of the week of such intense intercultural bonding.
When we got to Porto, traffic was bad and it was late, so he went to drop me off at a taxi stand, but felt really bad about it and was so concerned about me getting to my hostel safely. I assured him I was okay and that I’ve been traveling for awhile now and can take care of myself, but his protective father say side came out as he worriedly left me at the station. Turns out it was the station I would need to be at the next day, so now I knew where it was, and I figured out the metro pretty easy. It actually all worked out pretty perfectly!