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Only Joe King

A light-hearted look at life in Andalucía and Spain in general. Its good points and its bad. This blog doesn't pull any punches.

Serendipity I – straw bales, double doors and a house for sale
Sunday, November 14, 2021 @ 10:27 AM

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, SERENDIPITY is the fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary goes for the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. Joe King experiences serendipitous events quite frequently. This happened a few weeks ago.

My English neighbour asked me if I could get him a dozen straw bales to rebuild a shelter for his four lambs, so off I went with my friend José to try and find some. The harvest was just in, so in theory there were plenty about.

We tried locally but the farmers had none spare – they needed them all for their own livestock.

So we tried further afield. We headed off towards Montecorto (Málaga) on the road to Sevilla. The fields were full of bales of straw, so we stopped at the gasolinera in Montecorto where there is a café that seems to be a meeting place for all and sundry.

“Anyone got any straw bales for sale?” I asked in my best andaluz accent. Immediately a huge guy who looked like the Native American mental patient in the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” piped up.

“Yep. How many do you need?”

“Just 12.”

Cristóbal was from Benaoján (also Málaga).

“Meet me tomorrow morning at Bar El Encuentro in Benaoján at 9.00 am and we can pick them up.”

The price was right, so we agreed.

As José and I drove off, we both acknowledged that that had all been rather serendipitous.

The following morning we met Cristóbal as agreed and he took us to his nave where he had stored his hay.

While José and Man Mountain were loading the van with the dozen bales, I had a nose around. There were rabbits and chickens and a pair of double doors.

They would be perfect for Casa Real, the house I’m doing up, I thought.

I asked Cristóbal if they were for sale. He said “yes, but they’re not mine. They belong to a friend. I’ll ask him.”

Over the next week or so I learned that they would cost me 450€. No way, I said, I was thinking of 150€. In the end we met somewhere near the middle and I paid 275€. I was happy and so was the vendor. Who says andaluces aren’t prepared to haggle?

The doors are fitted in my house already and look grand.

Talking to Cristóbal it emerged that he had a house for sale in Benaoján, so, in my role as corredor, unofficial estate agent, I went to see it. The house is now “on my books”.

Serendipity? I think you could say all three, the straw bales, the double doors and the house for sale fall into that category.

¡Viva la serendipitía!

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