## Friday, 25 April 2014

### Books & roses (& chatty taxi-drivers)

I knew that Wednesday was el dia de San Jordi but I hadn't realised the way in which Catalans celebrate it.

My flight from Heathrow was slightly delayed, so by the time I arrived in Barcelona it was past 9pm. Still, on my way from the airport I had registered the $-$ I thought $-$ unusual number of women carrying a rose with them. But I was pretty tired, so I didn't really think much of it.

In the morning, I caught an early train to Girona and then a taxi to get to the Universitat. The driver was very, very chatty and she wouldn't stop speaking, so I had to switch to Spanish-mode to the full of my (limited) abilities $-$ in fact, I was quite happy and impressed with myself for being able to sustain a long conversation.

Anyway (enough self-patting on the back!), she explained the tradition and told me that for San Jordi men are supposed to give their loved ones a rose, while women should give theirs a book, which I thought was quite nice (especially the book thing $-$ I suspect that as far as the roses are concerned, it must have become something like Valentines cards. But with a book it's probably become a much less tacky & commercial activity?).