Fish gets our Car Towed from 2000 Miles Away!
Today, in Southern Spain, at 5.50am, my darling Fish caused our hire car to be towed away by the Civil Guardi. Its quite an achievement even for him. Mostly, seen as he is 9 months old, in a luxury holiday kennel in the wilds of East Sussex, blissfully ignorent to the fact that Spain even exists…..
Life is never dull. Let me explain.
We are on holiday. Last night, as per every night in this small town near to Malaga on the Costa Del Sol, we took a little drive down into town to sample a local beverage…. or two…. (cough)…. and maybe a King Prawn or two, before strolling back up the two mile hike to the apartments marvelling at the local sights and sounds…. crickets that sound like Mopeds. Mopeds that sound like crickets.
Now……..just a few days before we left, Fish, possibly the tallest, clumsiest Labrador in the world, lumbering down the garden, stood on my foot. On it I had one of a pair of the most comfortable, wonderful decent looking shoes I have ever owned. Shoes you CAN walk two miles uphill, in 80 degree heat at midnight, after a ´few´, and know there is no need for plasters, beer mats or anything else wedged in to save your skin. They were priceless. SO, consequentally I had to buy a new pair. This new pair rub me. I found this out ONLY when we got here. This is a disaster of epic proportions. Only a woman would understand. A man can just shove a pair of socks on and be done with it. A woman cannot. Not with sandals. Over my dead body.
So a brilliant plan was devised. We would DRIVE down as usual. We would leave the car not in the usual place overnight but somewhere closer to the restuarant we wanted to go to, and we would put my trainers in it and, cunningly, after, walk back to the car, swop shoes, happy days, job done.
It went without a hitch. A wonderful dinner. Several hundred MORE Michael Jackson jokes coming through to my mobile, whilst we gazed out over the Med and sipped the local vino, a stroll home. Perfect.
This morning at 10am we march back down feeling very worthy at how fit we are getting. As we approach the unknown but convenient car park we get rather a shock. Stalls everywhere. The market has come to town. Only no small blue Kia, in its place a stall selling tat, lighters, tomatoes and winter scarves…
Have you ever had this happen? The moment when you stare and go ´Ít has to be there… maybe we parked somewhere else….? Love? Say something…. We MUST have parked somewhere else…. Tell me we parked somewhere else…..????´
But we didn´t park anywhere, else we parked there. Only the small blue Kia was not. Not any longer. Not since 5.50am apparently we found later from a man with a gun on his belt.
So I do exactly what I felt was reasonable. I stood, eyes welling up, sweating more than a little in the 90 degree heat, and bellowed about it being hidiously unfair, and how the living bejesus were we to know a bloody market would want our parking space!!! Till I was told by OH to pull myself together and let him think.
A helpful local english speaking restuarant owner rolled his eyes and tutted a bit and had his 95 year old mother dressed in black ring the local police to find out where the Kia had taken itself at that time of the morning. It had gone to a local compound for a little break from us (I KNEW we shouldn´t have made its 1.2L self drag us nearly 5 hours and 200 miles round the Sierra Granda mountains the day before just to see the scenery….This was its revenge… I knew it for sure….)
The restaurant man rolled his eyes and told us the news that we would need to go pay the hugely unwelcome fine at a police station about 5 miles away… then get about 10 miles from that to a compound to reclaim the Kia. ´Did we speak Spanish?´he asked… We shook our heads thinking that our total sum of Spanish, namely ´Uno San Miguel Gracias and uno Vino Blanco´ was unlikely to get us anything other than arrested…. He shook his head and we knew this was not a good thing….
As a amusing and hilarious twist, we were nearly broke, so skipped over to a cash point where upon the cash machine promptly told me despite having loads of cash in my account, ready for holiday spending, i had been very irresponsible and childish and had not informed my bank I was going abroad, and therefore i was not getting a penny till I flayed myself with a cat o´nine tails and begged forgiveness…. (OK so I was actually told this later during an unbelieveably expensive call on my mobile to Alliance and Leicester, but I knew what had happened the minute it spat my card back at me….) So Al had to cough up mucho casho.
So a taxi ride later brings us to the Policia Locale, not before we had a interesting city tour trying to find it. They had moved it. And left the old signs up just to throw tourists and non english speaking, emotionally unstable taxi drivers into a panic.
That part went quite well. Allan (he is an engineer after all) had decided the no english thing could be overcome by a quick game of Pictionary with the police staff. So after producing a to scale drawing of a car being towed and waving it at them, they rolled their eyes at the desk and looked at us like we were trying to plan a major bank robbery in Vegas, BUT wrote out the chitty. They then spoke no English at all to tell us WHERE to get the car FROM. So after handing over a small fortune, the current exchange rate did nothing to allow us to pretend it was less than it really was, we just headed South.
After another hour or so of mayhem and mad driving, we were headed down a dusty track under an unfinished motorway in the arse end of nowhere convinced we were about to be shot by both the police and Alliance and leicester customer service representatives, and buried under the foundations. And it would serve us right. Did we not KNOW the penalty for interupting a weekly market was death in Spain?
Out of nowhere we see a rusty old compound and a police car…. we cleverly deduce this must finally have struck gold. poor little Kia is sat, sad and lonely, at the back of the compound looking all blue and familiar. I had visions of it being stripped out with even my George Michael CD nicked and sold on the black market, but it was intact…amazingly…..and much to Allans the George Michael CD remained…..
So we leave to continue our holiday where it left off, but not before one of the police looked at our chitty, noting the amount paid, and almost giggled to himself with delight! We just KNEW at that point had we spoken more spanish than ´Can I please have a beer´ we would have not had to remortgage the house….
So the moral of the tale being…. Fish owes us…. BIG time…. and his pocket money has been stopped forthwith.