I remained in Berbegal to avoid the heatwave and to get some work done. Not much worth mentioning: I had a terrible night because of the heat, so I compensated with two naps during the day. I worked quite a bit, not without resistance. I went to the pool to cool off, twice.
I noticed I could live in a town like this: extremely small (just 300 inhabitants) but with the basics covered: supermarket, pharmacy, bar, church, and pool. Just one of each. This is not the place, but it’s good to know size doesn’t matter.
Influence, the psychology of persuasion could also be subtitled tricks of a used car salesman. I’m sure there’s something useful in it, but I find myself unwilling to sift through so much chaff. It’s better to practice, observe and iterate.
Reduced beer price
Yesterday, upon arriving to Berbegal, I hit the only bar and asked for a beer. The lady served from tap, but the tap was malfunctioning and it was impossible to serve without ⅓ of the glass consisting of foam. I told her not to worry. However, when I drank it, I smelled sulphur. I’m quite indifferent to smell, and it was still drinkable, but I remembered this was spiritual work, so I thought about the best way to get my beer changed.
I approached the lady and said “excuse me, this smells funny, would you take a smell?”, she put her nose in and confirmed the smell. I said I suspected it was the glass, so she served a bit of beer on a new glass and found it was the keg (or something in the mechanism). She gave me a bottled beer at the reduced tap price without having to ask for it.
I needed a band-aid for a blister, but I knew the pharmacy would be closed on Saturday afternoon. I was in the pool and I reasoned they must have a first-aid kit. I approached the attendant and asked if she knew if the pharmacy would be open. She said it wouldn’t, but that she could call the owner if I had an emergency. “Oh, it’s not an emergency, I only need a band-aid because I have a blister from walking”, and I showed her. She winced and insisted on calling the owner. “Oh, I wouldn’t want to bother, perhaps you might have one in your first aid kit?”. “Ah! True! I hadn’t thought about it!” she exclaimed and hurriedly went to fetch it.
She gave me two, and though I knew I was stretching her generosity, having one more would get me covered for the full recovery, and I remained there trying to formulate a kind way of asking for another one. I guess she read my face, as she gave me another one without asking.
Extra night at Berbegal
A lady received me at the albergue and showed me the ropes. I saw that it was a great place to spend an extra day, with a full kitchen and a bedroom for myself. This time I emphasized the heatwave “It was cool enough in the morning, but now it’s just noon and it’s already blazing hot! I’m concerned because the next stage is 28.8 Km and it will be impossible to arrive before noon. Would it be possible to stay more than one day to wait out the heatwave?”. She said yes, but had to pay day by day and not in advance. It seemed to me this was policy and had nothing to do with my persuasion skills.