Pepe is sitting alone in his small apartment in Madrid scratching his head. As usual he is doubting. “Should I open my piggy bank, or shouldn’t I?” He looks at the smiling pig. “What’s he smiling at?” he wonders. Then, as if in revenge for mocking him, Pepe lifts the piggy bank and smashes it to the floor. “That’s it. I’ve done it! Now I can go to Cardiff to see the final of the Champions,” he laughs.
Pepe feels proud of himself. At last he has managed to make a decision on his own without having to consult his cousin in the village. His cousin Paco will be really surprised when he tells him that he is off to Cardiff. Better still, he won’t say anything to him yet and he’ll phone him from just outside the Millennium Stadium.
Pepe begins to count his euros. The piggy bank had felt really heavy when he lifted it, but much to his dismay he finds that it is full mainly of one cent and five cent coins. Yet, it was a very big piggy so perhaps he just would have enough to fly to Cardiff.
After four hours Pepe finishes counting his euros. He has far less than he had hoped – just under €200. Surely, Mr Ryan Air would have something cheap. He usually did. And if the flares cost more than he had, he could ask his cousin for a loan and Mr Macmoni for an advance on his salary. Between both understanding beings he could rake up enough money to get to the match.
Convinced of this, Pepe begins to surf the Internet, but to his horror, he discovers that it is cheaper to fly to New York the weekend of the match. The flights to Cardiff had soared to around the €800 mark. That would mean that he would have to ask for quite a big advance on his salary. But with images of the match in his head, he decides to press on and look at what sort of accomodation Cardiff could offer him.
Yes, he fancied a nice room in a hotel. After all his hard work this year he deserved this treat. “What!” he exclaims as he sees in Booking a room for €2.364 per night. He quickly thinks about Airbnb. Everyone is always telling him about the bargains there. Pepe raises his hands in despair. Airbnb were looking for €1.092 the night in a shared apartment.
Yet, Pepe can’t help conjuring up pictures of Real Madrid’s captain heaving the cup in the air in triumph at the end of the match. “There’s got to be something I can afford,” he thinks. Then he spots an advert for a camping site. It is even recommended by UEFA. “I knew there would be something affordable,” he chuckles.
Camping Ninja. Pepe likes the very name. An exclusive camp only 20 minutes walk from the stadium with beds, pillows etc. “That surely would suit my pocket.” Pepe anxiously looks for the price. “No, no,” he shouts. “That’s impossible. There must be a mistake. The prices can’t be those – €90 just for a bed without peeing facilities, and €400 to €500 if he did want to pee in private!
In dismay and disappointment, Pepe switches off his computer. He looks around at the fragments of the smashed piggy bank and spots the piggy’s head. The piggy’s grin is even bigger now!
To learn more about Pepe’s money problems, turn to unit 10 of The Verb To Be Of Football.