“Take no wooden nickels nor used bandages, unless from the squatters”!

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USED CARS: Payment for an apartment on the slopes.

I END this year by finishing my saga concerning the Sierra Nevada. I was ripped off and feeling pretty disgusted at the whole event. I dared not speak to anyone on the mountain concerning my situation. I might just have to listen to theirs which were always worse!

At last, a date for a final reconnoitre and decision was made by the partners. Telegrams were to be used for immediate decision making. I still had the old keys to get in so drove up. The squatters had broken in and controlled most of the entire building. Nothing could be done. So I went back down the mountain and telegrammed all associates. SQUATTERS WON’T LEAVE EXCEPT FOR BIG BUCKS AND FREQUENT KISSES!

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The investors wrote back: “Sell at any price. We trust your judgement,” came the first telegram. My wizened Uncle Tom added a further addendum. “Or trade it for anything… used underwear, broken down cars with one headlight remaining.” He also inserted a disclaimer. “Take no wooden nickels nor used bandages unless they’re from the squatters.”

With clear instructions and latitude to negotiate, I climbed the mountain again to Shalom I-1A but the squatters had doubled in numbers and were partying hard. They didn’t want to talk or see me. They knew their rights. Driving back down the mountain I flew in a rage, popping into the first bar to tie one on.

Then, performed that subtle task the way I had been taught by years of living in Spain. I bought everyone within shouting distance a drink, and then conveyed my woes, displeasures and sad tale. I then waited for comments.

As the evening tarried, most left. But one particular stalwart remained close and reciprocated, exchanging drinks and tales of woe. I really just wanted to put the fire out and maybe come up with a plan for mañana. At 10pm, he informed me it had been his desire to own an apartment on the slopes. He had no cash but could/would give me used cars!

Well, as you know, historically God favours children and drunks. So, I initiated negotiations and told him about the squatters. He informed me about the true condition of the cars we had to value and by 2am, we had a contract, written in Spanglish on piles of serviettes. Then we partied for a few hours celebrating and bought yet more drinks.

About 4am, I decided it was time to legalise matters. I impressed all when I phoned a Notario. A little known law of Spain is you can insist the Notario comes to you if the situation warrants and that’s just what I did. For his part, this Notario rather blew me off until I started bantering about the law and threatened to sign his ‘libro de reclamaciones’ if he didn’t appear. This man of ‘letras’ arrived like a bolt of lightning, typed it, and did the deal. He even refused to join us for a celebratory whisky.


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