Yesterday was nice and warm. Partner cycled into town for the shopping. It being warm he decided to stop for a nice cool beer.
He was chatting to a German couple he has met before. They live in the country about 20-30 minutes from town. They are renting a small old house – there is no glass in the windows – and she would like to move, but all the other places are more expensive.
Sometimes they have friends round. Whenever they do, the external blinds between them and their Spanish neighbours go up so the neighbours can sticky-beak on their social gathering.
Of course when the Spaniards have friends and family round, the blinds stay down so no-one can see what they are up to. Drinking lots of bottles of spirits at a guess.
The German woman told Partner that she had managed to stop the blinds going up.
“How did you manage that?” asked Partner curiously.
“Well, I waited until the middle of the night when there was no-one around, and I really wanted to go to the toilet. Then I went outside and pissed on his wall.
“I did it a couple of times. I watched him afterwards wandering round trying to work out what it was. He stopped putting the shutter up though.
“There is only one thing to do with people who piss on you. And that is to piss on them right back.”
The bar owner joined in the conversation. She asked the Germans if they knew – by sight – one of the homeless guys in town. He was also German, and used to sit near the supermarket with his dog. He was in his early 30s but looked much older.
Apparently the bar owner used to give him a sandwich sometimes. We often gave him a euro. Not all the time, but sometimes, especially in bad weather. He didn’t beg and always said thank you.
He was a quiet guy, and just sat there all day, maybe with a carton of wine and a loaf of bread that he had bought from the supermarket.
The Germans didn’t know him. Partner added that we sometimes gave him money.
The bar owner knew that.
“Yes, he used to mention you. The Englishman on the bicycle who also has a big four by four,” she said.
When Partner came home he mentioned that they had been talking about the German man.
“I’ve found out what happened to him,” he said.
I didn’t like the sound of this story.
“Do I want to hear this?”
I gave in. “Jail? Deported?”
“Dead. Found inside a contenador (large rubbish bin).”
Whatever your views of homeless people, and whether you give to them or not, to be found dead in a rubbish bin in your early thirties is a very sad ending to a life.
ETA: There is more on this last story on Clouds moving in