Some English people should never move abroad, particularly if they are from Milton Keynes. For a reason best known to themselves, people from Milton Keynes, as well as other Brits seem to want to replicate their entire social circle in the sunshine and avoid anyone native to the country they have chosen for their “new life.” This morning bore out my theory, that everyone from Milton Keynes should have their passports revoked, immediately. I met a father and daughter estate agent this morning who had moved to Spain because there were “Too many foreigners in England.”
Ok, well they didn’t actually say that in so many words, but I know its what they were thinking.
I am not keen on smarmy salesmen, I have dated a few in my time (I live in Essex for goodness sake, you cant move for second hand car dealers and insurance men.) All of them proved themselves unequivocally to be charlatans, both in their professional and romantic lives.
The early assignation however brought forth a hybrid of tackiness: enter stage right the ex pat salesman, the uber oily and slippery perma–tanned brothel creeper wearing, xenophobe: who has nostalgia for urban British towns circa 1970 when glue sniffing was the original smack and before immigrants started milking the benefits system. At least the terrorists in those days were British, he misguidedly thinks. He doesn’t tell you that he probably never paid child maintenance to Shelly from number 42 after a drunken evening with his best friend’s wife in July 1976. He speaks approximately 4 phrases in Spanish and despite taking siestas himself, thinks the locals are lazy and untrustworthy.
Paul and I found ourselves at the mercy of such hideousness this morning. A sweet older Spanish widow came to meet us, as she was the owner of the property. She carefully showed me around the kitchen, despite my protestations that my brother normally cooks and my suppressed my innate fear of anything that involves using a whisk.
The Ex Pats talked over her as if she didn’t exist and were rude about her appearance and the fact that she walked slowly. They blamed their tardiness on the widow and made fun of her whilst she stood in front of us. My back was well and truly up.
She kindly offered me a radiator from her house and I went to collect a few extra things from her palatial home. The stroppy daughter rolled her eyes and tried to connect with me, clearly finding the woman a foreign burden. The widow told me that her husband had died and proceeded to show me around her house, this involved looking in her cupboards and toilet. She was not selling her house, but I think she wanted the English girl to see what she was missing, by showcasing her nest egg. I took great interest in her expensive taps and commented enthusiastically on her upscale saucepan set. The English girl was becoming irritated and clearly wanted to finish for the day.
“Not so,” I thought and was delighted when the widow brought out some photographs of her old house.
My brother could not understand what she was saying, when she told me that the aviary above the kitchen contained 12 birds and she claimed that when her and her husband were at the height of intimacy that they would sing. She burst into song like a bird and I can only imagine how unusual this looked to my brother. It had probably been quite peculiar for her husband, I mused. Paul had no idea that I was having a discussion with an ageing lady about her sex life with her deceased husband.
Miss Milton Keynes was now agitated and shaking her knee up and down and muttering about leaving. I was just getting started, asking the lady who incidentally was very charming and polite, about her life in the Spanish town. Milton Keynes or MK as I will call her for short, was beside herself. I was beside her, BEING short. She spat some broken Spanish at the older lady and said that we had to go. My brother had gone for the car and there was a look exchanged between myself and MK, I asked the widow the history of the chandelier that hung in the Dining Room. She was very sweet and MK was ready to beat me to death with a British manufactured hammer, by the time I had finished talking.
I promised the lady that I would look after her apartment and she asked me to wait. She went inside her house for an awfully long time and a dog was peering in the front door, which had been left ajar. I followed her in and could hear her rasping suffocating cough echo through the hallway. The birds were silent as was the whole high-ceilinged house.
“Senora, Senora?” I was starting to get a little worried.
She appeared eventually with a bag laden with fresh oranges and lemons from her garden. She continued to cough a little bit and I suggested she drink some water. I am sure in her 60 plus years she has managed to work out that drinking water is a good idea, if feeling under par. Sometimes I give some blindingly obvious advice.
100 Euros more than we had expected and with a cash payment to the Emperor of Ex Pats, we had the keys. After a gruelling journey it was exciting to have somewhere to put our bags and call home, if only for a month.
I have a feeling our elderly landlady will be popping by, fairly soon. We have bought a box of chocolates and strong coffee in readiness for what may be a lengthy but entertaining visit.