Today I joined the University of the Third Age. I remember hearing of this over the years. I also met the rudest, most arrogant man I have encountered in a very long time.
And I am afraid I told him he was.
Friends had mentioned that I should go into Lux Mundi which is only about fifty yards from my apartment.
They cater for all nationalities, but there were mostly English voices I heard today when I dropped in. Luz Mundi is the venue and consists of spacious buildings, much larger than appears from the narrow entrance door, which is off a typical, for Fuengirola anyway, street, tiled and cobbled in places. Once inside there is a reception desk to the right and some seating and a coffee table in front of the walls to the left which sport sheets of information.
I can’t remember the name of the very friendly man, with a wide welcoming smile, who took over from the rather worried looking Spanish lady. He asked me to sit down and calm down, mistaking my asthmatic breathing for anxiety.
I was glad of the seat anyway and he patiently explained to me I would have to become a member of U3A before being allowed to participate in any of the classes which were run within the building.
There’s a coffee dock through from the reception and the whole open area must take over the back of three or four of the small houses along the street. There is an outside area too with seating and, sorry to rub it in, but today the sun is shining and it is really hot again.
I was given a prospectus to read whilst the smiley man went off to attend to someone else who arrived. I noticed he hugged and kissed some of the arrivals.
It was while I was reading through the prospectus and copying information on to my phone that a tall slim handsome chap with greying hair settled in one of the chairs on the other side of the coffee table. He was accompanying his elderly mother who looked a sweetie pie of a woman, as short as he was tall.
He told me the booklet I had was a year out of date, which it was, but it contained information I wanted. He told me there were all sorts of classes running, which was what I was trying to read about. He told me he had attended the science meeting, which had been very informative and about black holes. He said, ‘I was so surprised as some of the people there were actually intelligent and understood what was being talked about.’
I stopped what I was doing. ‘That’s a very rude and arrogant comment to make about elderly people.’ I commented. ‘Well they were all elderly so I was surprised.’ He countered.
‘Just because you see an old woman in front of you that doesn’t mean I have never achieved anything and I have probably achieved more than you have.’
‘Anyway you are not old,’ he replied. ‘You are probably around the same age as me – 59. I’m a Cambridge graduate!’ he exclaimed.
‘That does not give you the right to pigeon hole people you know nothing about in such a demeaning manner. I could give you quite a few more years than that, but whatever age you are does not give you the right to speak about anyone like you have.’
‘You are quite defensive.’ He said.
I returned to reading through my prospectus and the graduate tried to involve me in other conversation, but his sweetie pie of a mother, told him that I was busy reading as if she could see what he could not.
The smiley man rescued me and asked if there were any of the classes I was interested in. When I said choir and writing, he led me through beyond reception to the back area and introduced me to a group of ladies about my own age who are the writing group.
They got an up to date U3A booklet for me and a membership application form. I have since completed this and paid my membership fee and will join the next writing group in two weeks’ time.
I’d overheard about a concert which is on tonight and asked smiley man about it. So I am going to ‘a Touch of Class’ for their Valentine’s Day Concert tonight in Lux Mundi for all of five euros which includes one tapa and one drink. Hola!