Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lost Luggage

The parking lot by the office is far too small. There’s nothing new about that in Spain, where the nation’s last architect died in 1922, run over by a tram in Barcelona.
Where I work, there are around ninety shops and offices, plus a supermarket and some cafés, and there is parking for about sixty cars. So, it’s usually full. Crammed and double-parked. Emergency lights (which can last for hours), people taking up two parking lanes, cars parked so close that you need a shoe-horn to get into the rear-door to clamber over the seats and dog-basket to get to the controls, impatient honking, trucks unloading, all the fun of owning a car in a country where the parking lot still hasn’t been invented.
Word has it that the main post office is moving here from the other end of the beach in a few months time so soon there will be even more cars, double parked, excuse me, yes, I shan’t be a moment.
How can Mojácar be so badly planned? We have seventeen kilometers of playa, served by one narrow road and enough parking spaces for about a quarter of the cars which are endlessly circulating during the summer months.
I get to the Commercial Centre quite early – incredibly early by local standards – and cruise around the block until I find a space. Lock the car, tum ti tum, and meander off to see who’s in the café, and on, away to the office on the third floor. If the lift is working, all well and good. If not, I must trail up the stairs to arrive panting outside the door of Nº 90 where I fiddle with the keys, let myself in, make a joke about the heat or the tourists, and get on with my day.
When I come downstairs a few hours later, I find that I can’t find my car. It’s not that I’ve forgotten where I parked it; it’s that I never remembered.
If I go to Granada, there’s no way I’m going to forget where I left the car; but leaving it somewhere in those small and badly designed spaces that surround the commercial centre where I work, twice a day, where half the spots are actually double-yellow line no-parkee spaces, not that anyone takes any notice, Spain being Spain, I am obliged to wander around the outside of the entire building, ugly thing that it is, twice a day in search of my car.
At least I remember what kind of car it is – an old and very scratched one. There’s not much point in having any other kind with these narrow parking places which are laughingly designed by Spain’s master (ahem) architects.
So, I patiently look for the stupid car. Perhaps Einstein would have had a similar problem with his neutrons.
But things are getting worse. I’ve been by myself the last couple of weeks with the family away for various reasons. Home alone. Living like an old bohemian.
Today, it took twenty minutes to find my underwear.

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