Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Bozos, Chumps, and Brazilian Templars

This is just an update, really. Gotta get to bed, so I can roll out at 7 a.m.

Libby and Paddy went to the city hall in San Andres on Monday morning to file the Reclamations paperwork against the bozos. They´re headquartered in San Andres, and that is where I got the paperwork a week ago. I imagine Libby and Paddy taking on a Spanish builder... or a Spanish bureaucrat. And I kinda feel sorry for the Spaniards, for a lot of reasons.

The consumer office folk took the claim pretty seriously, and said an inspector would be out to check out the ¨crime scene¨ (the Peaceable Kingdom!). But then the lawyer noticed our house is across the county line in Palencia province. SOOooo... we have to file the claim in Palencia, not in San Andres. Damn.

Still, we now know we have a legitimate gripe, and there are people out there who investigate these things. And we learned, too, that Mario knows Paddy was in town filing things that morning. Within a half-hour of the interview, Mario phoned up Patrick and assured him he´d be in Moratinos today to ¨straighten out all this,¨and that a crew is being lined up to come over starting next week to really get going on our place.

Hmmm. Probably lies. We didn´t achieve much, but it made us feel better to get a rise out of the bastard. We went to the Casa Rong, our friendly Chinese joint, and celebrated with orange duck. (Spanish with a Chinese accent...OMG. It´s almost too much.) I was tempted to introduce myself to Mister Rong, just so I could say I did. And then I remembered I´ve had plenty of experience with those.

Anyway, Mario didn´t show up. Surprise surprise! A couple of other people did, though, as it goes with these things... we never get just one visitor. One was Mariann la Suiza, back from the convent. She stayed a couple of nights in the camper van, and Libby read her palm in rapid-fire Spanish. The other is Anselmo, a Valencian pilgrim-turned-hospitalero who´s been drifting ´round the camino for several months. He´s doing some work over at the Alamo (a nickname for the future albergue on the other side of Moratinos), and came over here to say hello, and ended up hanging around. Good company, great practice with languages, lots of good camino gossip, too -- he´s up on all the latest on the Brazilian Templar refugio network!

No Mario, but we did hear from Fran, his sidekick. He says he´s just back from vacation, oh so surprised that no one´s done anything here, and he´s heading up the crew that will be here Monday to really get on the stick. Our Welsh friend down in Almeria, who oversees these kinds of construction projects and who´s been coaching us in hardball, says we need to put Fran on notice too, right this minute. But alas, we don´t know Fran´s last name, nor his address or ID numbers, etc.! We are such lambs among the wolves. (aka "chumps.") Maybe we deserve this. Or maybe nobody does.

Anyway, we´ll see on Monday, again. And on Friday we´ll see if I learned anything in the past three weeks of language class... that´s when I take the big exam. I decided to sign up for the next step of the course, which goes two afternoons per week from October through December. Gotta keep banging away at this, I think...and afternoon classes means I can take the trains. And the whole course is only €100. I think about what a college course costs in the USA and I´m staggered at how nice we have it here, even we foreigners. It´s almost like they want people to come to school and learn useful things!

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