PARKING A LA FRESCO. |
Unwanted adventures of the creepy kind.
It my have come to the attention of some people that hidden among the woodpile or the tarpaulin cast aside, in the splendid vistas of the Andalusian coastline, there may lurk a few nasties that may perhaps have left more than just an indelible mark on your arm. The Montpelier snake for example, up to five foot long and thick as a standard hosepipe, is practically everywhere and will not wait to say hello before it has sprung like a coiled spring in the joke box. It is less than fun in real terms and has an aggressive nature that reacts to being upset. Cornering it therefore is not advisable. It happened to some friends of ours who not only found it coiled around the electricity meter almost touching her face when she opened the wretched thing, but fell from a an overhanging branch right smack on the delicacies of a Spanish meal al fresco. Never again - one had to go – the tree or the cosy spot on the terrace. It was described as a whirlwind, plastering everyone around with anything from apple pie to tomato spattered, lettuce leaves. Nothing was saved for the following day.
It all sounds like a bit of risqué fun, but it is one of the most poisonous snakes in Spain except that its fangs are at the back of the mouth ready to paralyze whatever it manages to bite and pull in. Dog legs and long bits therefore like slender arms could very nearly reach them. But enough of this, for there is plenty more like vipers with more approachable fangs but which fortunately go further up the hillside from the teeming coast. Then there is the scorpion – not deadly but nasty with scores of stings within seconds if left coiled round the finger as you put your innocent fingers in the crevice . And the centipede version of that, with its alarming green to match its poisonous sting.
It´s your car it wants not you.
The horrible thing about all this, is that your car could be their little hideout along with the rats which nest in the ledge of the engine compartment and proceed to eat every bit of rubber from your precious electricity supply insulated wire. They often make it impossible to ever start it again. It happened to us when we left the car in an open car park at the airport and often wondered why we appeared to have had a thorough overhaul of the system by the shiny look of things. But then that was the first time and we were not so lucky on the second which had to be towed to the nearest garage because the car park people refused to accept responsibility for it. In fact it was a central loom job plus the covers on all liquid reservoirs. The insurance company additionally refused to come to terms with it and tried unsuccessfully to get it off the car parking company.
Don´t do it...
So much for parking al fresco to save a bob or two…. However and to shut off the grim supply with a last anecdote, the driver at San Roque Golf club who merely had it near the five star hotel there, for a few hours, thought at first that he was seeing things as he appeared to have two halves of the original rear view mirror just above his head. He could not work it out until he realized that the central reservation was slightly off centre and swaying and was just in time to grab the door handle and throw himself out. Luckily, he had not managed to put it into gear as the long very agitated, very dark monster slunk out with the speed of a demented gorgon. He did not know how it got there and assumed it must have been through the engine compartment somehow, but now he always opens all doors first after the shortest of parking stints.
Lesson for the day, if you have any form of affection or respect for your car, however dingy it may be, never leave it in an open car park anywhere near vegetation, dykes or dustbins in case the squatters may not realize you will one day come back and drive them away without much ado. Check your carparks very thoroughly and make sure in whatever way you can that indoor really means indoor and where you left it. In fact, in most cases with indoor space at a premium, there is every chance that that cosy little warehouse is but the door to an underworld, so grim, that all the nasties may well be there on your way back to the house as unaware of you as you of them. Checking mileage is but a tit of the tat, because some of them use loaders to take it very far away where storage rentals are cheaper, but even then it might be one of those cheap fields packed tight with every available piece of scrap merchandise sliding uncomfortably alongside.
Always go for indoor and check it out first . Anything under 2000 sq. mtrs is limited space and that means that some have to be left out somewhere else. More than likely it will be yours, looking clean and undisturbed but its past history may well emerge on the way down that motorway and your gearstick may well not give you time to pluck it before you pull out into the layby.
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