Today I have gone for a walk after work. One of those nineteenth century ones, just walking down the streets, going nowhere in particular, waving at acquaintances and stopping to chat with them here and there along the way, obstructing the way to other pedestrians in a somehow irresponsible way. I then remembered Palma cafes and some occassions my friends enjoyed them in the past, and started searching for them across the streets of the old own (where was that one placed? ... How was that one called?)
If there is something abounding in Palma, this is “cafés”. I am not referring to those bars were people gather to take a beer and a “tapa”. Not to the summer terraces either; not even to those trendy shops, such as Cappuccino or 1916. I am talking about those places where one can read and talk together with other friends: Sa Llotja, Café Lírico, Al Vent del Mon, Antiquari, Librería de Babel, Café des Teatre, Sa Botiga des Buffons. Those quiet places with yellow lamps and customized tables, where mutual respect allows that different nationalities, ideologies and cultures live together. Meeting points for those who have in common their love of books.
Palma Cafés are one of those thousand reasons to enjoy the town. I only know another place where there are so many: Vienna, where coffee cups are served with delicious pieces of cake and multicultural newspapers from all over the world, hanging from a circular table: Landtmann, Sperl, Korb, Leopold, Celsior... and my favourite one: Café Museum, in Operngasse. My friend Lucia Pessot and I have sat in those dark wooden tables more than once.
I walked down “Cuesta de la Pol” and up “Carrer d’Arabi”. I then stopped at “Margarita Caimari” under the dim and yellow light of the street lamps; reliving all the times when we used to play marbles opposite the Treasury building in Pontevedra, after the English lesson on Friday evening. Or those years in Santiago de Compostela, sitting in the “Metate Café” with my friends Betina and Mery; or those times with my friends of the Legal Practise School. I contemplated all of them from outside, without getting into any of them.
I got into a mall and “Eau the Rochas” for twentieth time this week, facing a hard glance of the shop assistant, who has already seen me some times doing the same thing without necessarily buying afterwards. I pulled a bottle of water out of my handbag and sat opposite the mall, enjoying the cool night.
And I went back home thinking about tomorrow.
Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón