72. The unpredictability of Lavinia6 August, 2021
San Vicente del Raspeig, August 6, 2021
One thing is predictable here… the unpredictability. Let it be quintessentially Spanish, or maybe it’s just the life we lead.
Like every week, we take a day out to get away from our paradise completely. It may sound paradoxical, but it is unbelievably good to let go of everything, and to enjoy a nice meal together in a Spanish bar, stretch out on the beach, sit on a terrace, stroll, and yet also, again – of course – a lot to talk about Lavinia. Last Thursday was “our” day. So we went out in the morning. That in itself was already a success. We would first do some shopping, and then discover a new beach. I was really looking forward to it, both of us for that matter. We happily chugged home with our groceries, on the highway at 120 km per hour. When suddenly ‘fate’ struck: totally unexpectedly the engine of our car went out, the dashboard turned black, both the music and air conditioning went out; dead, the car was dead, and showed no sign of life. The adrenalin and disbelief hit my brain: I had to act, and fast. All I could do was steer – luckily I still could – even my turn signals didn’t work! Moreover, the emergency lanes in Spain are particularly narrow, especially for a van like ours. You are, as it were, with one leg almost in the first lane. I could only think of one thing: we have to get out of here as soon as possible. The trucks rushed past our bus. You could feel the air movement. Terrified, I kept an eye on the rear-view mirror, hoping no one would smack in our hole. Once it came to a stop I tried to get the engine running again. To our great relief, this worked immediately and we were able to continue on our way. At least until the next exit to the parking lot of a large department store. For a moment we considered driving to the beach after all, because it was our day off after all, wasn’t it? On closer inspection, and after consultation with the garage, it turned out to be irresponsible to drive. So instead of a ride to the sea, it became a tow truck and a taxi ride home. It was arranged exceptionally well. In just 20 minutes the tow truck was there to load our car, while the taxi was ready to take us away. They can learn a lesson from it in Belgium. However, in that regard…
The story with the garage turned out to be a different story. They said it was exceptionally busy – everyone takes vacation here in August – and that it could easily be two to three weeks before they even had time to look at it and make a diagnosis. Let alone repair the damage. That wasn’t really what we wanted to hear. Then they don’t know Ana yet! I’m not going to let myself be put off just like that. It could turn out to be a very expensive undertaking otherwise. A rental car for around €200 per week + repairs. No, we really can’t do without a car. The entire automotive sector had to hear it. Countless emails and phone calls – twice a day, of course – ensured that they were diagnosed and recovered within a week. At least that’s what I think. My calls may invariably be heralded with a flashing red light and loud alarm throughout the garage as soon as my number appears on the display. You would do anything to get rid of my lament. It may not be a nice feature, I know, it’s not neat… but good service is extremely important to me. Hopefully we can finally pick him up today, after his major maintenance. Because it’s our day off again today. And we really want to go to the sea!
Fortunately, it is not all doom and gloom, quite the contrary. We have laughed a lot since my last writing, together with the guests. So much that I actually dive into bed every night with overworked laughing muscles. I still feel it in the morning. Strange how a different dynamic is created with new guests. The flow is unbelievably captivating. It remains to be seen how it evolves as guests leave, and new ones arrive. Everyone who arrives seems to feel a bit of how, what and who. Everyone is spontaneously included in the group, each with its own individuality. That’s the beauty of Lavinia. The respect for each other and for each other’s being. Coincidentally, in the past period it was jokes and pranks, teasing, and just plain fun. Delicious. We even got an aria from a semi-professional opera/operetta singer. Twice even. What a voice, what a power, what goosebumps moments those were! Wim also organized a really Hilarious Lavinia game. I can assure you that we laughed again. What it means : I won’t reveal that, because it is worth repeating. At least if the ‘type’ of guests allows it, or rather: if the group dynamics allow it. Well, unpredictable, but fascinating, so fascinating.