Out on the dusty street a population of stray dogs reminds Matthew of rabies and frothy mouths. As he sips his drinks, no ice, he observes the rural surroundings and wonders why he even took the bus. Nothing here. No ladies to impress. Some alcohol to consume. Mostly time to read and think. A nightmare, basically. One of the dogs casually walks up to Matthew’s table and stares at him. “Haven’t I seen you before?” Matthew asks. His own language sounds strangely unfamiliar if spoken aloud. “I think I have. Well, I am leaving tomorrow. I am taking a stinky bus back to the city and from there to a beach. Or to a much colder country. I haven’t decided. I will definitely never return to this hellhole.” The dog barks, just once.
“Why won’t we see each other again?” its eyes seem to say. Its tail tucked beneath its legs. The snout pouty. “I am a world-class traveler, my canine friend,” Matthew says and refrains from touching the animal. Sandflies feed on dogs. Sandflies cause nasty illnesses. Matthew has no time for infections. “But don’t you worry, some naive young lady from Central Europe will come, fall in love with you and import you to her home where your sandfly population might cause her organs to swell. Now go.” The dog remains standing and watching, until Matthew sighs and is the one to leave.