I was with my girlfriend and son at the beach in Valencia selling bow ties on the boardwalk.
I walked away from my stand for a moment to get two small paintings my son had just finished and told him I was certain if I put them on my table they would sell in a second.
He was reluctant, modestly saying he didn't think they were good enough to sell, but I convinced him they were and took them from him.
Just then, I saw an elderly couple approach my stand.
They were dressed in smart but gaudy clothes that, despite being elegant, were seemingly from another era and much too heavy for Valencia's temperate weather.
The man proceeded to pick up a bow tie and admired it.
I walked over and greeted the couple and told the man the bow tie was handmade in England of my own design.
He asked me how much it was and I told him it was fifty euros.
He said that was a bit too costly and politely handed the bow tie to me.
I immediately put it back in his hand and told the man to make me an offer.
Slightly embarrassed, he said that while it was a fair price and one of the finest bow ties he had ever seen, the exchange rate was wreaking havoc on his vacation expenses.
I asked him where he and his wife were from and he said they were from Ecuador.
He then offered me thirty-five euros for the bow tie, handing me three bank notes—a 20, a 10 and a 5–to which I promptly handed him back the 10 and 5.
The man thanked me for my generosity and in turn I thanked him for his interest in my bow ties.
I told him in jest that in exchange for making him a good deal on the bow tie, once he returned to Ecuador he would promote my bow ties among his friends, family members and colleagues.
Then I said I wanted to see a newscast one day where the news reader would say that the streets of Quito had recently become inundated with men suddenly wearing bow ties. I even gave him an example of how the news report would go, imitating a news anchor with an affected deep voice and South American accent.
The man and his woman were amused and laughed out loud at my antics.
Then I woke up.