In my experience since moving to Spain, nearly every operation I want to achieve will involve the following:
1. I electronically reach out to a purveyor of a product or service, asking for their assistance. They ignore me after learning I am not a native Spanish speaker.
2. Weeks go by, when I ask another purveyor of that particular service, product, etc. in person, if they can assist me in what I need. They tell me it’s impossible and I leave.
3. After a week or more, I enquire of another purveyor, who tells me they don’t do it but refer me to 2-3 other purveyors. I reach out to them and they tell me ‘No’, or they just ignore me.
5. I go to the premium shop in a larger Galician city and they want a ridiculous amount of €€€ to do something simple.
6. Months go by. I’m at the Yethi in Melide getting new butane tanks for our water heater, in my overalls and rubber boots. Butane tanks are about €15. They last two months heating all the hot water in our house. When we get fully solar paneled-up we will heat the water with solar. On the way home I spot a workshop who I have not tried yet, and I decide to roll the dice and take a chance. They look me up and down but are patient. They know a guy. They give me a number to WhatsApp. But I’m not falling for that. I’m too savvy. ‘Show me on the map.’ They do. I drive straight there and talk to the guy. Bada bing, bada boom! I have a trailer hitch on our car. Or I will when I pick it up later today. And it was a smokin’ deal, including the brake light harness. Jeff was surprised I knew to ask for that, but I just laughed. ‘Not my first trailer hitch.’
All these steps happened in the past six months. And not just for the trailer hitch. Why am I having a trailer hitch put on an Audi station wagon? Because I can’t buy a truck. And besides, in Europe people tow trailers, caravans, etc. with their cars. Would you ever see this in the US? Never. But they do it here. When my food truck/trailer is ready I need to be able to get it home.
At one point, I went to the Audi dealership in Lugo, the same people who fixed my car after javalies (wild boars) took out the front end on a dark and stormy night a year ago. They wanted €2000 to put a trailer hitch on the car. I called Jeff, because I have no idea what trailer hitches should cost here. His reaction wasn’t pretty.
‘Hell no! They’re robbing us. We paid the same to have a trailer hitch put on the Range Rover in Seattle. I’m not paying €2000 for a hitch on an Audi station wagon.’
That was months ago. I was starting to twitch. No hitch, no food truck. No food truck, no Happiness Café. No cafe, no Albergue. But I should have had more faith. Because the above steps are tried and true. It happens every time. I just have to be patient and wait for it all to fall into place. My blood pressure barely rises anymore.
Jeff and I just walked home along the Camino from dropping the car off. Probably 100 total peregrinos today. The shop is in the industrial park not far from our house. Where the recycling centre, the milk coop, and all the car dealerships in Melide reside. I’ve set a date for opening of April 1st. But this is self imposed. It will depend upon grants, permissions, etc., and based on how long other things take I may be lucky to open by June. But now I can tow anything I like. Including a utility trailer. So it’s sort of like we have a truck. Plywood, metal studs and roofing materials for sheds are in our near future. And I can live with all of it.