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El coche, 7529 KTV

26 March, 2019

Spanje, zondag 3 maart 2019

Since Friday our mini bus has become Spanish. Import into Spain has been arranged, thanks to Wim and our gestor. Proudly yesterday Wim picked up the new Spanish license plate. I think it has something. We are becoming more and more integrated. I also feel very much at home here, despite the fact that I experience it as a major loss that we do not speak the language. We save ourselves well, although it is more of a help. Yet we both insist on trying as much as possible to express ourselves in Spanish, with the few words we already know. For example, this week I went on my own to ask for permission from the municipality to place a container in the street for the many garden waste. The good man who had to help me didn’t know a word of English, so it had to be in my best Spanish. And in the end it worked out well, at least I got a completed paper that has to go to the police to be approved. Strangely enough, with the same paper in the same town hall, I had to have a stamp set up at another counter 😊. Bureaucracy at its best. When they received the paper, it turned out that the data had been entered in the wrong place. But it was the civil servant who had filled everything in on the basis of my E-Id. At the place where my name had to be, he had neatly filled in “Bruges”. Hilarious! Tomorrow I have to get a normal phone call – help in Spanish – that the permission is in order and may be picked up. I hope so, because the container will arrive on Tuesday.

What I am incredibly proud of is that, unlike in the past, I no longer panic as soon as something unexpected happens. For example, on Friday I went shopping – hip hoy, hip hoy – for the design of the houses. I can finally do this. I really enjoy it. The stupid thing was that I needed quite a lot, such as 60 glasses, 5 sets of crockery, a microwave oven, trash cans for the kitchens, and so on. One problem, they did not want to put everything at the cash register for me so I just had to pay it and could load it in the car. No, I always had to load my shopping cart full, go to the checkout, have an invoice made, and get to the car to load. My car was in the farthest corner of the parking lot, because it is not so obvious to park with a 5.4 m long bus. That way I passed the cash register four times in total. The last time I thought I was smart, and I took both a shopping cart and such a small cart to drag after you. That way I could take more with me. But that was not included in security because the small cart was not allowed outside the store ☹. He was so “friendly” to offer that I left a part with him so that I could deal with it afterwards. So, back on and off to the car. After about 3 to 4 hours I finally got to the point that I could return home fully loaded. Just as I left my parking lot, there was a heavy knock at the back door. Fuck! After all, no dirty truck to get me out of my car and then rob me!?! But it was a friendly Spaniard who reminded me that I had a flat tire. What now? Just that day the insurance was switched to a Spanish insurance. And breakdown assistance is included.

Strangely enough I just stayed calm and I didn’t feel any stress emotion. On the contrary, I felt it was something that I would just solve. It was what it was. In the past I would certainly be flipped, and be complete over my speed, stressed, and angry at the whole world. Because Wim could not reach the contact person of the Spanish insurance, I was forced to solve the problem myself. Then just call the Peugeot service line. Unfortunately this turned out not to be in my package, so fix it yourself. Because I was convinced that the seller of our car in Belgium then said that this was included in the service of Peugeot, I called the garage in Antwerp, who indeed told me that it had to be included. The car also has an SOS button and a Help button that you can always press to get assistance. Indeed, it worked and I received an answer from Belgium. From there they could do nothing – I had to call the Spanish line. To make a long story short, it suddenly turned out via the button in the car that they would send someone with a maximum waiting time of one hour.

I did not let it fall to my heart, and I went for a nice drink while waiting for the help. Within the hour there was indeed someone who very kindly replaced my tire. According to him, the cause was a knife stab in the tire. The result was that the tire cannot be repaired and that it must be completely replaced. Pff … unforeseen costs. We do not yet know how much this will be. That is something to arrange tomorrow. According to the store’s security man, there were no cameras on the parking, so no proof of that. So it was a turbulent week.

Because of all these and other problems, I am not able to thoroughly inquire about free Spanish lessons. Although I have the contact details, I do not have the time so far to actually take action.

Yesterday we treated ourselves for the first time in fourteen days to a night out. But this is also working, of course, although it is fun to work. We also have to do prospecting in restaurants for our guests. We found something very cosy, Spanish, and with a purely Spanish clientele. Very busy, lots and lots of chatter, but so very cosy. We incredibly enjoyed this unexpected outing.

On the way to the car, it turned out to be carnival in the city. Everyone walked dressed up, in groups of family or friends who were all dressed in the same theme. No tiredness, but a cheerful, cosy atmosphere. A DJ was playing happy, swinging music, and I just wanted to dance and move. What I did promptly, just like most people in the square. Wim was just there, enjoying it, but he didn’t really want to dance, I thought at the time. I tried to make him dance, or at least get moving, with all my enthusiasm and charms, but it just didn’t work. I thought it was the fact that he didn’t feel like it, because he simply doesn’t like to dance and has never been able to. Only after a long time, and after I asked him why he did not dance, it appeared that he simply could not. Master Parkinson made it impossible for him to move his feet. This was like a sledgehammer in my face. Lately I sometimes just forget that Master Parkinson’s always comes with us. Wim can still do everything he wants at the moment, take long walks with Amigo in the rocky and difficult mountain roads, work in the house. So it stayed on the backside. The fact that it was impossible for him to move suddenly abolished my joy, and I felt guilty for not having realized it before. Guilty because I kept insisting that he would dance, just because I was so selfish to put my pleasure first. I cannot imagine what feeling it must give to suddenly establish that your body is not carrying out what your thoughts want. That your brain just doesn’t give the signal to your feet to move. This must give a very powerless and confronting feeling. Strangely enough, Wim is very brave about this. He does not let himself be beaten by it. Determines, and just continues with what he can do. This only indicates that we have seized the right moment to come here. The fact that finding work had become more difficult in Belgium, thanks to his Parkinson’s, and the fact that he can do everything here at his pace, gives him more peace. And more importantly, it enables him to do active, driven and “meaningful” work. He is currently preparing everything to take photos of the smallest house, so that this is also tempting on the website. It is thanks to his efforts over the last few weeks that our website and the cooperation with various professional partners have received a boost in the past week. We already have the first 5 bookings for this summer! This already gives me more confidence in the future. I am looking forward to seeing guests here enjoying their vacation.

Hasta Luego,

Annemie

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