Spoiling for a Fight

My worst fears were realized the other day. I was busy making waffles when the Policía Nacional arrived in plain clothes. And they stopped Jeff coming out of our house and asked for our food truck documents. Gulp. But we were ready.

It’s strange as we have the Guardia Civil stop all the time on horseback. But these guys were called by a cafe in the village. It seems our success has not gone unnoticed. This was my greatest fear. And the reason we only sell a few things that overlap with them. Soda and water. The rest, including our coffee and milk, are not anywhere near what they serve. But they see the lines and the guy comes down and stands at the gate. Giving me the hairy eyeball.

He left a bad Google review – trying to mask it was him. Complaining my menu – including Belgian waffles – is ‘too American.’ What he doesn’t know is that I talk them up all the time to people who want to eat more traditional Spanish/Galician food. My menu is what I craved on my Camino. It’s not for everyone. But a lot of people love it. And my willingness to bend to special requests. Peanut butter and banana smoothies. Whipped cream and ice cream on waffles ‘just like home’ a guy from Belgium smiled as he handed me his empty plate. Hot peppers on the avocado toast for the Australians. I just want people to smile when they leave.

The police were cordial but want to shut us down after receiving the complaint. But we have all the right papers. We are legal. And they were taken aback that we are not in A Coruña. That’s where their office is. When Jeff said ‘No, Lugo.’ they got flustered. They say they will go to Palas de Rei and tell them we need to shut down. Why?!? We are not sure. Other than the guy down the way complained. And we are too American. Not Spanish. Not Gallegos.

It’s true. We are immigrants. Not fresh off the boat, but not from here. We are still learning, while working to contribute to the community. We pay taxes. A LOT of taxes. And we try our best to do the right things.

I phoned Diego, our contractor helping us. He was shocked!!! ‘You have everything. Did you show them the regulations I printed for you?’ I told him we did. ‘Wait until they give you an official notice.’

So, after hearing nothing about our other approvals, we may not be able to reopen the food truck next year. And it makes me wonder about the future of Spain. Population decline is real here. Especially in rural Spain, and Galicia. How will they attract investment? They will need the money of foreigners like us. Willing to help bring money and their own hard work to these areas. That will mean bringing in changes. New ways of thinking and doing. If this is what is going to happen after significant investment, after jumping through the correct bureaucratic hoops, who will bother?

Today, we are enjoying our final days with Ryan. But a shadow hangs over us with the business. Should we try to continue this non-traditional business on the Camino? Or pack our bag of toys and go home? Right now, I don’t have the answer. It’s been a busy season with bumps all along the way. I need a proper rest before I decide if the fight is worth it.

12 thoughts on “Spoiling for a Fight

  • Well dadgummit, I really hate to hear this. And I hate most the thought that your bubble has been popped. It takes so much positivity to keep yourself ‘up’ when they are difficult. To get the feeling that you can be shut down from a single complaint? ugh. But I expect this situation will come through with widespread support for you all and Palas de Rei folks saying to the A Coruna dudes ‘oh go screw yourselves’. You’re in the right. You’ll come through fine. But I hate that you even have to question it. Cheers to your remaining time with Ryan ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  • Here in Canada we have been following your adventures with great interest and admire your tenacity to get things done. A friend Dunja will be stopping at your cafe for a taste of your great food. In the next few days Don’t give up, this will pass. Keep fighting a lot of people will miss you if you quit and from what I know from your writings you are not a quitter. Will keep our finger cross. Burn camino

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is awful. Sadly, this appears to be a downside of Spain, that change and ‘newness’ is not welcomed by the authorities in rural communities. Something similar has happened recently in my own town, and perhaps it’s the residue of decades of authoritarian rule. Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hi, I´m just catching uo after a trip with little wifi access. I was so happy to see that Ryan is with you after such a long time. This visit from the police is a set back. Don´t let them get you down. You know how these things work. Maybe one is a friend or relative of the cafe owner? You always do everything by the book so don´t let them get to you. You have chosen your new life and are entitled to grow your lovely business. sending love and support xxx

    Liked by 1 person

      • The complainer doesn’t like the competition. If he’s looking at long lines at your food truck even with higher pricing, he should ask himself why, not try to eliminate you. Some Gallegos are mean sneaky little weasels…believe me, I know one. You have a legal business and they need a valid reason to shut you down. Hang in there.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s funny you say thus, Carol. Our contractor said I should watch out as Galicians can be jealous. Seemed like an unreasonably blanket statement at the time. And he was born and raised in Melide. Even he is surprised by this.


  • Oh that’s awful. Could you invite the café owner over and show him you’re not in competition. I hope you can get it sorted, especially after all your hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

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