9 December 2013

no pasa nada

When I was having the house rebuilt years ago some rather curious reasoning would often rear its confused head. Spain is indeed full of bizarre rationale. When I pointed out the doorstep sloped markedly inward towards the door and that water (dare I say it, rainwater) tends to flow downhill, and so the front door might get flooded, the response from Juan the builder was the all-encompassing “no pasa nada”. The “no pasa nada” cure for all ailments, “it’ll be fine”. After reiterating my concern of the silly laws of physics I was placated by Juan’s extension of the no pasa nada response, in the form of a “solution”. No pasa nada, “we’ll put a porch on the front of the house”. That was the uncanny solution. It was obvious. To Juan. He brimmed with pride at his brilliant use of logical reasoning.

To solve the problem of nature and that annoying thing called gravity, I was now to end up with a porch strapped on to the front of my house. No admittance of the problem with the tiles on the step, just a way of sorting it out, while “blaming” gravity, of course.

This seems quite often the case around these parts and in essence is also the reason you see roads with grand pavements and fancy street lighting disappearing off into a field. Literally a road to no where. So often have I seen these ghost estates looking like driving lesson centres or disconnected bridges and motorway fly-overs standing forlornly in fields that I’m starting to think it’s a Spanish thing.

There may be other reasons for such bizarre town planning (like gravity or the like), but to the uninitiated it does simply look like things might not have been thought through properly. Having lived in Germany for years, maybe this has affected my view on things, but when you see some astroturf around the bottom of a tree, you just know there’s going to be a dog turd on it within the week. Don’t you?

Of course, I could be completely wrong but a similar thing seems to be happening at the entrance of our nearest town, Huércal-Overa. As you leave the town there are about 400 metres of nothingness before you get to the motorway junction. You pass a ruinous pig farm and some scrubland then you’re at the motorway. The council has therefore decided to spend 850,000 euros on building a three metre-wide pavement. As pedestrians generally have no place on the motorway, it does beg the question, why? What’s more, for half of the 400 metres there is already a two metre-wide, never walked-upon pavement. This polished pavement is now receiving a pavement upgrade and visitors to the town will be greeted by a landing strip of pavement that they will never need to walk on as it doesn’t go anywhere. Like the severed motorway fly-over in a field. Just not particularly well thought through. But, it’ll be fine, put a porch on it!

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