50 Shades of Nonsense

We’re not into sadomasochism, but you would never know it based on how spanked and screwed we’ve been getting lately. It’s not like I’ve never experienced unjust treatment in my life before. But if someone is going to use me as a whipping post I like knowing why. Whether I agree with the reasoning or not.

In the past three days I have begun peeling back the onion on what the hell is going on. Do I have the entire picture? Uh, No. Not by a long shot. They can deny me. They can denounce me. But, I won’t stop until I know why. Why is this happening?

Eruptions of Anger

The Rage in Spain falls mainly on the Camino. Or so that song should go.

Yesterday, Diego came to the house directly from meeting with the guy at The Patrimonio. That is when I learned how we thought we were approved but we really weren’t. This is how it works.

The architect and the analyst who study the project plans approved our entire project. And told Diego. But then, it went to the Patrimonio’s council meeting. Think of it like The Knights of the Roundtable. Except packed with angry old guys with unchecked power and, as Jeff funnily assessed, A hard-on for smacking down foreigners, and anything different on the Camino. We are foreign and, as anyone who knows me will attest, as ‘different’ as they come. They clearly hated what we were doing. And then it got worse.

Kind and gentle Diego spoke to the grand poobah, and the man shouted at him. Why are you even here? We have spoken. If they do not disassemble everything immediately we will assess them a €10,000 fine. And we will assess them another, then another. On and on. You would think we had committed the crime of the century.

Diego returned to our house and he was shaken. He has never been spoken to in such a way over a simple planning permission. He and Miguel came out last evening and unhooked the food truck. Then, Jeff pulled it back behind the house. He used the tractor to take the tables away. Even the bench we had outside our gate so Pilgrims could rest is now gone. As well as the flower pots to make it nice. I have walked Caminos. There are few non-restaurant/bar places to rest. We had 50 Pilgrims a day resting there. Repacking their packs. Eating a snack. Bandaging their feet. It seems, in Galicia, for the Camino the government doesn’t view their role as supporting a spiritual experience, or helping Pilgrims to reach their goal. It’s about money, power and control. If anyone, including a Pilgrim, gets in the way of that? Look out! And if you are a foreigner? Forget it.

Last year we paid more than €60,000 in tax here. But it has only bought us derision and discrimination. They’ll take our money but they won’t do one thing more than let us know we don’t belong.

Don’t Mess With Maricarmen

Last night was hard. We removed everything in complete silence. It was weird, but there was nothing left to say. Calm Jeff was so angry he did it all red faced. Diego is angry, as well. Miguel gave 50 examples of current businesses that violate the rules they cited in our rejection. We all acknowledge there are powerful political forces working against a little food truck with the word Happiness emblazoned upon it, and the symbol of a praying meditating person. Imagine being threatened by that?! A speck of nothing. €10,000. And then €10,000 more. And on and on. A David and Goliath political saga.

At 9:30 as the sun set, there was a knock at the door. Maricarmen was there with her weekly lettuce delivery. She asked where it all went. I told her the story and she went red in the face.

‘This is not right.’ She stated, thin lipped. Then, she pulled out her phone.

The Prayer Chain

When I was a kid we prayed before dinner every night. My Mom was on the church prayer chain and she would pray for people I didn’t even know.

‘Lord, help John Beck’s brother with his heart condition.’ Stuff like that. Our phone would ring and we would write it down. Then, our Mom would recite it at the dinner time prayer.

Maricarmen is a one woman prayer chain. Her contact list is longer than any I ever had in my working life. You ask her and she begins scrolling. In short order there will be messages on my phone for plumbers, etc. But last night was different. Being my local BatMan, she put up the Bat signal to all those who work for the Xunta de Galicia in her contact list. And it’s not one or two people.

‘We will see what we can do, Kelli. Don’t worry.’ Then she hugged me and left.

Today, the road guy came back. He was angry with me because Diego didn’t put my NIE number on the forms. He wrote up an assessment and I signed it. He took the opportunity to shout at me some more, before telling me he wasn’t sure he could approve any of it. I didn’t bother to respond. Then he took his leave. I texted Diego and reiterated what was said. Then, I had a good cry. The South of France is starting to look lovely this time of year. My lavender would grow much better there. They freely sell French rosé in every establishment. And, there would be no hint of the dark underbelly of the politics of the Camino anywhere in sight. It seems the people tasked with protecting this sacred thing are the ones this holy experience needs protection from. I’m no Knight of the Templar, and even if I was, after the past 36 hours I don’t have much fight left in me.

10 thoughts on “50 Shades of Nonsense

  • You do such an eloquent job describing the frustration and exasperation you guys are feeling. After ALL the work you have done, this is just heartbreaking. And nonsensical on the part of the Xunta. I’ll be adding my good thoughts to your prayer chain 😉. Hang in there!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mericarmen is a saint!! I hope she stirs the pot and gets you approval. You need a local with pull!
    On another note..I’ve been reading your blog to my husband and he has belly laughs at your writing. You’re quite the comedic writer.
    I hope a better day arrives for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Best wishes that this prayer chain works. Some people are awful. I hope you don’t have to deal with any more awful people and only those like Maricarmen. She sounds wonderful. We all need more like her.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Too bad a petition wouldn’t work… with all those pilgrims passing you’d have enough signatures in no time.
    I hope Maricarmen can pull those strings!!🙏 It’s utter BS!

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is outrageous, bureaucracy gone mad. I do hope that Maricarmen can pull some strings for you. I can’t imagine your frustration and sadness.


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