I don’t think they’re doing it on purpose. It feels like they are, but I really truly don’t think they are. You must have experienced it? You pass a neighbour or a stranger in the street, you both nod, and you grunt out a greeting. “¡Hola!”, or perhaps “¡Buenos días!”, or sometimes just “¡Buenos!”. And whichever you pick, 99% of the time they reply with a different one. Why? I refuse to believe it’s some sort of contrariness!
So maybe it’s a game? Maybe it is like paper, scissors, stone. But I don’t know the rules. I don’t know whether “¡Buenos días!” trumps “¡Hola!” or the other way round.
It’s a problem. My morning walk while the coffee is filtering, round the edge, look at the views down towards Riogordo, back past the panadería, and home with the bread, generally involves me having to choose which greeting to use about 12 – 15 times. I count it as a draw if “¡Buenos días!” is greeted with merely “¡Buenos!”. I lose if “¡Hola!” is returned with anything involving “¡Buenos!”, or viceversa. I win only if the reply is the same as my greeting.
I’m lucky to get back with the bread and a score of more than two.
© Tamara Essex 2012