When it rains, fish will appear, part 5

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie


Silently we drove out of the village, the palm trees stayed behind us along the boulevard that marked the entrance to the village. We passed the last zebra crossing and were on the way out. Zebra crossings in Andalusia are different than in the rest of the free West, not so much a safe crossing, but more a warning that people can cross there, that has affected many tourists. More often than not, you see that cars speed up to cross over just those paths, before pedestrians cross over, just to beat them to it, places that were originally intended for the safety of the pedestrians now become places where people are scooped. That is if they do not pay attention. The background of the stripes makes those that cross overmore visible, nothing more.

The first roundabout now came into view, the glorietas that you see all over Europe and have become rooted in the smallest Spanish villages, and are cursed by most farmers, because it means that you have to slowdown.


'Will it take long,' I asked my neighbor, 'until you get your driving license back?' He sighed deeply, "another four months or so," he murmured. Chris been stopped on a country road with his C15 van full of vegetables which he had planned to sell in the outside regions. Then he'd drive into a village and honk the horn loudly and people would come out of the houses and he'd stop and open the tailgate and showed boxes of vegetables from his land. Depending on the time of the year, it was fruit or vegetables. From melons to peaches or from lettuce to radishes.

The guardia civil, had asked him to do a breathalyser test, on the outside roads there is more often than not alcohol control, the roads are wider and lend themselves better to that purpose, the streets in the villages are still from a time of donkeys and pack animals, a time where only the notables were seen in a car and where parking is virtually impossible. The warm climate combined with the necessary dust, makes people thirsty and most farmers do not see wine and beer directly as alcoholic drinks. I have seen neighbors after a beer or 20 quietly get into their car and drive home. It is almost inconceivable how much resistance Andalusian farmers have build up against alcohol.


You can not park your car in the streets that were absolutely not built for traffic and most checks took place when you entered or left the village, on the country roads. The guardias had to partly earn the wages from fines and they always managed to comply. By the end of the month you had to be on you had to be on the alert because then it would rain fines. "Good morning," the young guardia had said, "hay que soplar," would you blow please. 'Sopla tu', Chris had answered, or, 'blow yourself.' that had given him the first ticket, for insulting an official on duty.

The test had shown that he was more than twice past the limit and that led to losing his driver's license. My neighbor saved himself a lot of money by paying the tickets on the spot, an arrangement that allowed you to get a half fine discount and made you wonder if the collected money would ever reach their destination. Spain has that as a rule and Andalusia with its remote areas, in particular.

"In six months you can pick up the driver's license at the headquarters," the young guardia had said, putting the ticket money in his pocket. He saluted and advised my neighbor to drive carefully and not to use the car outside the village. I had laughed when I heard that, we are members of the European Union, but the effect of applied laws is quite different here I would say, if you compared the more Northern countries to the most Southern in the union.

"So you can still drive," I asked in surprise? "Not formally speaking," my neighbor had replied,' but I asked José for advice.' I knew José, he was the nephew of my neighbor and was appointed capo of the guardia in our village. As a manager of the corps he was seen as the highest legal source of information, by most in our area.


I glanced sideways at him, "and what did he say?" I asked, because I had become curious by now. "That he understands that I have to go to the market with my vegetables," my friend replied, "because yes I have to get rid of my goods." Oh my God, " I thought," just on market days if the trade had been good, farmers would celebrate that in the nearest pub. " More often than not, I had seen them come rolling out of the bars. "So ...," I continued on the questioning tone. "I can drive to and from the village on market days," Chris explained to me, "he can not protect me on other days."

"Right," I said, and I nodded comprehensively, and I realized that family ties virtually decide everything in our regions. Two roundabouts further on we pulled off the highway that would take us past some neighboring villages to Macael, to the residencia, where the mother of my neighbor was probably being prepared by nurses to receive a visit.

also read part 6

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02/01/2019 05:02

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