Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Spanish News for the English (2)

The 'Spanish News for the English' 2016 is a tongue in cheek service, in support of European Multiculturalism for English Pensionistas (pensioners) Pensionistas who are considering a different type of winter break. This time as an alternative to the more usual break of an ankle, leg or arm due to the inclement UK weather.
Today, I must share with you an interesting, if somewhat bewildering story. One which will help in understanding the inner working of Spanish mindset.  Picture the scene, we are sat in a small (stood back from the roadside) taverna. The location of which we will keep secret. For reasons that will become clearer as the story evolves. 

It's lunch time and the taverna begins to fill with what I assume are regular punters. First there was a sprinkling of local tradesmen arriving, in small groups of three or four. They were arriving in what are obviously work related vans and pick-ups. Soon there is a good gathering, the conversation is in full flow about the weekends football match involving Barcelona. The little Argentinian maestro and football legend that is Lionel Messi. Has naturally scored the winning goal. 

Soon it was not only the conversation that was in full flow. Because as the food was consumed. A great deal of the locally grown and brewed 'el vino collapso' is also in full flow - and flowing down the necks of the tradesmen. A short while later, I heard the doors of a couple of cars outside being slammed shut. Into the taverna, stroll a small group of Police. Just as I was expecting something being said about drinking and driving - Perish the thought about what might happen to someone who had consumed a few glasses of plonk and was later going to be in charge of power tools.

To my surprise the police officers wangled their way into the throng and sat at the table. Soon food for the officers appeared as if by magic. The officers tucked into the food and also made a good start on the wine. Some time later everyone was now full of good spirit and good food (it was excellent fare that was provided). When into the taverna stroll a couple of English tourists. They had stopped when they saw the police cars parked outside the taverna somehow confusing it for a police station. Who then attempt to engage in conversation with the police officers in a language (with which I am also fluent) called Spanglish. 

Soon everyone was outside looking at the back of the mobile home. It seems that the tourists had spent the night parked up on a backstreet. In a small town some distance to the north. They had set off to continue on their journey the next morning. It was only later when they had stopped for a comfort break. That they discovered there was now an extra bicycle attached to the bike carrier on the back of their motor home.

There was a lot of shrugging, gesticulating and pointing. The problem was not only the extra bike. But the bike was also securely attached to their bikes. The bike was secured with one of those padlocks with a thick heavy plastic coated wire. Intended to help prevent theft. Another police car arrives, this time the officer can speak very good English. After a conversation with the English couple, he calls over one of the workmen.  The workman goes to his van and returns with a pair of bolt cutters. Snip! and the wire is cut. 

The English couple seem to be much happier with the outcome. Everyone goes back inside the taverna. The English couple remarked on the police officers command of English. He says with a cheerful grin 'it's a gift!' now the couple asked him what they should do about the extra bicycle. The officers says with a shrug and a smile 'it's a gift!'

Some time later, the tradesmen and the police officers drive away. No breathalysers, no walking a white line in a test of capability. After a show of Spanish logic and what the French would describe as Anglo - Spanish 'entente cordiale'  in resolving a small problem. 
Caveat: Due to language difficulties and the unavailability of translation services. There may be one or two small inaccuracies in the news provided.

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