A little bit of Spanish can be quite useful. Mmmm.
So sitting out on our terrace while the (Spanish) neighbours were helpfully talking away at each other and anyone within earshot..
The 15-year-old son next-door came off his pushbike some weeks ago. He wasn't wearing a helmet or gloves. He ended up in the city hospital with his jaw wired, his face badly knocked about, his cheekbones damaged, and he hasn't been back to school since.
The grandfather, who actually owns the property (three generations in the same space), asked why he came off.
Was he going too fast? Why was he going down such a steep hill? (Not one that we would tackle..)
"It wasn't his fault. It was the bike's fault," said his mother without missing a beat.
She went on to add that the brakes weren't working properly. So it was obviously the bike's fault.
The bike went into the skip after the incident. The lad now rides a moped, obviously without a helmet, and if the brakes don't work one day, no doubt it will also be the moped's fault.
There was a party at the local council building a few nights ago. It was put on by one of the local political parties as elections are coming up very soon.
"We need to vote for them", said Marcey (the same mother of the son with the culpable bike). "They give us free beer and they will look after the people of this village."
Her 80-year-old father was nearly ROFLAO - or he would have been if he had internet access and understood the abbreviations. He still laughed at her anyway.
The 15-year-old with the poorly face then piped up. "They look after the wogs/guiris/foreigners."
"No they don't," snapped his mother. "Our neighbours fund themselves. They don't get benefits or healthcare, they put money into our community and don't take anything out. They don't get a vote, they pay their bills - and the council does nothing for them."
"Well, my mate up the back says....."
"Your mate up the back is wrong. Just because his family is jealous doesn't mean they are right. And in a few years time, he will walk past you with his nose in the air because he thinks he is better off than you.
"When was the last time he came to call for you?" she finished.
"Well, my dad said...."
"Well, your dad is wrong too."
"The neighbour takes work from my dad..." he said.
"No, he doesn't do that either. The last time he did something was for an English couple - your dad would never have worked for them.
"If you haven't anything useful to say, keep your mouth shut."
Given that she is the only one bringing in money right now, she can get away with it.
His dad has not worked for two years. His parting shot in today's heated argument - about the same sort of stuff, politics, work, and why haven't we got anything - was "Why should I leave my pueblo for work?"
Fine mate. You just ponce off your father-in-law and your wife for the rest of your life. And don't forget to bring up your sons with the same narrow-minded bigoted views.
Que pases un buen dia.
Oh by the way. We like our neighbours. We have helped each other out lots and lots. We still do, they gave me some good veg plants only the other day. We just don't all come from the same point of view. La vida va asi.
against all odds
1 week ago