Curt got up early and met his new found buddies for a ride in the Spanish countryside. His bike rides in Spain are very different from his rides back home. At home, he gets up, goes out riding, comes back. In Spain it goes more like this: Get up, go to a local bar and meet the cycling friends for coffee, leave there and ride for a while, stop somewhere along the way for coffee (maybe a slice of carrot cake or something), ride home. It’s quite a long production, and with the terrain being more hilly, the stops along the way made it nice. It exemplifies the whole way of living in Spain compared to the way we live back home. So often we just seem to rush to get from point A to point B, but how much more enjoyable is life when we slow down and stretch out the time we take to do the things we love to do?
He had to cut his ride short today, however, so that we could meet up with Bob to go visit City Hall. We met up with Bob at around 10:00. He gave us the contact information of a woman, Theresia, who was an interpreter and could help us out with information about who to hire to empty the septic tank. This lady was very familiar with the area and from the sounds of things, would be a great contact for us. He also gave us his password for his wi-fi so I could try using it while we were here. I was pretty excited about that! Maybe my visions of updating my blog on the terrace would soon become a reality!
Bob offered to drive us across the bridge to Arboleas to see the mayor. I managed to look like the silly American when I almost opened the car door, not realizing that it was a car he brought over from the UK and I was about to plop myself into the drivers seat!
We made our way over to the Arboleas City Hall.
When we got there, we followed Bob since he knew exactly where he was going. We went upstairs to an office and the mayor’s assistant invited us inside. Bob told him that he was there to see what had become of the denuncia that he had filed last week. He introduced us as the Americans who bought the house on the other side of Juan’s house and said that we shared his concern about the condition of that house. The man then said, “Oh yes, I was just on my way to visit the house. Just a moment.”
Hmmm. What good timing. He was just about to visit the house… (She says skeptically.)
At first there was a bit of scurrying about with the mayor’s assistant getting his keys and a camera to take pictures of the house. When we were on our way out, he stopped to talk to another guy. They were both speaking in Spanish and there was a lot of mention of “Americanos” during the discussion. The next thing we knew we were shuttled back into the assistant’s office and the assistant said that they wanted to look at the house on GoogleMaps to make sure they knew which house we were talking about. Again there was a lot of talk in Spanish with lots of “knowing looks” and mention of certain townspeople. We finally realized that the second guy who had appeared was actually the mayor of Arboleas. After more discussion, he went out and we were left with the assistant. Finally I decided to cut to the chase and just point blank asked, “So, will something be done about this house? I am worried that nothing will be done because the owner knows someone in town or something.” (Later Bob told us that he was thinking, “Oh boy! Those crazy Americans! They just come right out and say it!”) The mayor’s assistant just knowingly said, “Oh, no, the mayor has more information which may help us to get this taken care of very quickly.”
At that point we all took off to go back to the house so the assistant could take some pictures of the place next door. I invited him into our house so that he could take some photos of Juan’s house from the vantage point of our upstairs terraces. Juan’s house is in terrible shape and we wanted to be sure that the city doesn’t just allow it to continue deteriorating with the owner doing nothing. It is his responsibility to keep up with the property and at this point it is not habitable –
So after a lot of picture taking, the assistant told Bob to contact the City Hall next week and find out what progress had been made with the situation. The mayor’s assistant was very pleasant, and he complimented us on how nice our house was. (That made me feel good because we think our house was renovated in a very traditional way, and it was nice for a Spanish person to give us that compliment.)
At this point, we were really hungry, so we decided to get something to eat and try out wi-fi option numero dos: Humbugs restaurant. By the name you can guess that this is another British run establishment! It is very close to our house and we could have wallked, but we chose to take the car anyway. I took along my laptop and was hoping to be successful with the wi-fi.
When we got to Humbugs, Curt was surprised to see his riding buddy sitting there having a bite to eat (small town!) We were starving because by now it was already past twelve o’clock, and we went ahead and ordered “The English Breakfast” which consists of an egg, beans, tomato, ham, sausage, and toast.
We had a discussion with the waitress before we ordered because we wondered what type of beans they were. As it turns out they are simply the Van Camps Pork ‘n Beans type. As usual the coffee was great and the meal as a whole was just what the doctor ordered. In addition, the wi-fi worked like a charm… but was verrrry slow. It took forever to upload pictures! I was able to post an entry or two, but it was taking forever. Luckily the people in Spanish restaurants really don’t mind customers just lingering around! While waiting for pictures to load, I called Theresia. She is a British lady and very friendly. She said she’d come by after siesta and we’d get a hold of Diego (who was supposed to be the person to empty the septic tank.) At this point, Curt was looking a little like he needed a siesta himself, so I told him to go ahead and drive back to the house and I’d finish my uploading and then walk home. At first he didn’t want to leave me there, but this restaurant is literally a few minutes’ walk away. So after a little convincing, he went back to the house for a nap.
I chatted with the waitress a bit more after he went back for the siesta, finished up my blog entry, and then walked home. I was looking forward to meeting Theresia to see what kind of information she would be able to share with us!