The village bus station looks quiet in the photo. Not so the journey into Madrid this morning.
En el autobús,
las viejas cotillean;
sólo los hombres casados
On the bus
old biddies gossip;
only married men
I swear you could tell which guys were used to nagging wives: they simply closed their eyes and nodded off as if the screeching voices were a lullaby.
Mind you, much as I complain about the cackle and gabble, I have to admit that it has a certain charm, particularly for a writer. One day I will sort out all the fragments I have jotted down while travelling and write a poema costumbrista. What is the English word for that? A sort of comedy-of-manners style? (The RAE define costumbrismo as: 1. m. En las obras literarias y pictóricas, atención que se presta al retrato de las costumbres típicas de un país o región.)
As an example, here’s a typical exchange overheard soon after we started today’s journey. Two elderly and garrulous females in the front seats were telling the driver their lives:
Conductor (consolingly): Que liga mucho la viuda ahora.
Vieja 1: Pues yo no he ligado todavía.
Vieja 2: Yo no quiero nada fijo…
Referring again to the RAE, we have the definition of this colloquial usage of ligar:
16. intr. coloq. Entablar relaciones amorosas o sexuales pasajeras.
So, something along the lines of:
Driver: Widows have plenty of casual sex these days.
Biddy 1: Well I haven’t managed to pull yet.
Biddy 2: I’m not looking for anything long-term…