Two granpas and a grandma speak out about Rioja

Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment.  As I walked into the waiting room I heard a very spirited conversation between two men in their 80s and a woman in her 70s about the 2011 harvest in Rioja.  Rather than follow my natural instinct to join the conversation I decided to keep my mouth shut and just listen.

I expected them to be sympathetic to the farmers but surprisingly, the conversation revolved around how farmers were complaining about low prices for their grapes this year and how much money they had made in the past.

“Crazy”, “Irresponsible”, “Never happy about anything”, “Look at all the years they made lots of money”, “They all bought apartments, pushing prices higher” were some of the comments I heard.

“Do you still own any vineyards?” one of the men asked the other.  “No, we sold them a long time ago.”  The woman nodded, mentioning that her family had also sold theirs.

Then the conversation turned to the economic crisis. The lady said, “Here in the north you really can’t see the effects of the crisis.  The bars are full, people are buying new cars…  My son lives in the Canary Islandsand he says you can really tell that people are unemployed.  The tourist business is really hurting there.”

Then one of the men was called by the nurse and the conversation died out.

These three people impressed me.  Nobody interrupted and when they disagreed (one guy said that the grapes this year had very little sugar and the other one said they had too much) they didn’t start yelling and gesticulating like younger people.  They knew what they were talking about and clearly enjoyed talking to one another.

It made me think that it would be fun if they had blogs or wrote an article in our local newspaper. Their attitude and points of view were refreshing. And they certainly made more sense than a lot of the things I hear and read around here.


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