A small woman with a cloud of white hair on her head opened the door, smiled and said nothing. Julia took her shoes off and followed her to a small space behind a paper wall, where she left her bag and jacket. The woman escorted the girl to a stone-walled room where water running from a syphon poured in a round basin before disappearing in cracks on the floor. The woman bowed and left, without saying a word. Julia washed herself, put on a clean floral dress and, chasing the occasional noise, met the woman in the kitchen.
Thank you, Julia said and the woman smiled at her before returning to the dough she was mixing with her hands.
Am I supposed to be here, Julia asked and the woman smiled without looking at her.
Can I help you, Julia asked again and this time the woman did not smile, took a knife out of a drawer and started cutting the dough in small pieces.
Julia sat on the stool in front of the woman, her bare hands open in front of her, until the woman raised her eyes. She then pushed the pile of flour and a water jug towards her.