The time has come. My hands akimbo, I look at my packed suitcase, the holdall beside it. If all goes well, I'll be home soon.
|The River "Hintere Frenke" in Reigoldswil|
The wine's also my choice. A Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chapoutier "Croix de Bois", 2005. Only the best is good enough for Rita. I open the bottle with my Swiss army knife, smell the cork.
The fruity fragrance floats into my nose, a perfect share of tannin. I lift the glasses from my suitcase and pour a sip into each, drink them dry, wrap them in a plastic bag, replace them uppermost in my suitcase, which I close carefully. I take two other, plastic wrapped glasses from my holdall, and strap them into the picnic-case.
After I've put the case into my backpack, there's just enough room left for the stoppered bottle. I put on my sports gloves. Shouldering the backpack, I grab my walking poles and go down to the dining room. One place by the window is still laid, although I turn up late for breakfast.
"Buenos dias, Señora Gschwind. Que tal la noche?" the waitress Leonida greets me.
"Muy bien. Gracias," I answer.
"So you return home today? We're gonna miss you," she continues in her mix of Basel dialect and Spanish accent I like so much.
"I'll miss you too. It was lovely to be able to chat in Spanish."
"Will you be back?"
(To be continued)