I exited the train, strode down the wooden platform and saw him standing just past the turnstiles. Tall and handsome in a grey sweater, tan jodhpurs and brown riding boots, he was unmistakably my guide for the day.
“Hello,” I said to him in his native tongue. The five days prior in this European country had perfected my accent.
“Hello,” he replied, a look of slight surprise on his face.
We walked out towards his car in tandem and in silence.
“How are you?” I asked, nearing the limits of my recently acquired skill in his language.
“I’m very good,” he replied, a crooked smile alighting his face, “And you?”
“You speak my language?” he asked.
“No, not well,” I said, reverting to English, “I do try though.”
“What you know is very good.”
“I have a good ear, but limited vocabulary.”
He glanced over at me as he opened the door to his car, a ghost of his first surprise still haunting his features.
“I hope I haven’t kept the rest of the group waiting,” I said, referring to my slightly late arrival.
“There is no one else,” he said.
“What?” I replied, confused. I thought I had scheduled this village and countryside ride along with a group of other horse enthusiasts.
“There is just you, so no one is waiting,” he confirmed. Continue reading