Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TALES FROM A SPANISH VILLAGE: Churchbells, Choking...and far too much H20!

by Expat Focus columnist, Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead
Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools About the Author

Victoria Twead is the author of the popular expat book Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools and co-leader of the Expat Focus Spain forum

Our village is so tiny that there are only a handful of permanent residents. Uncle Felix, a retired goatherd who shares his cottage with his beloved mule and two chickens. Ancient Marcia who runs a shop selling sweets, beer and cigarettes and very little else. Geronimo, a gentle, football-mad kind of village policeman who enjoys his beer perhaps a little too much. And us.

Well, New Year's Eve was interesting. The village was filled with people enjoying the holiday and getting away from their city lives. The Spanish have this tradition where you are expected to swallow one grape every time the clock strikes at the midnight hour. Each chime, and grape eaten, will bring luck in the coming twelve months of the year. So Joe and I walked down to the church at midnight as usual, clutching our twelve (seedless) grapes.

If you've read 'Chickens', you'll know our church clock is rather erratic. It usually chimes twice, so at midnight it'll chime 24 times. Sometimes it doesn't chime at all. At midnight, Marcia, Uncle Felix, Geronimo, all the villagers, Joe and myself waited with baited breath, grapes poised...

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