by David Sutton-Rowe
Photo: David is 4th from the right in the back row.
Well that was a surprise, I was minding my own business one day in my local bar, the El Alhambra, and my friend Antonio walked in, I was having my morning Tostada (Toasted French stick bread, with a pouring of virgin olive oil and salt) and enjoying a really hot coffee, anyway we greeted each other asking how we were getting on in the world.
Antonio is a young man of 31 years old and we have known each other for around 8 and a half years now, and often meet up for a coffee but today was a surprise for me to see him, he is never on time, always gets his days mixed up and being a normal Spaniard this is the way things are done, we got into talking and he suddenly asked me if I would join the PP, (Partido Popular) well this took me by total surprise as I had never talked about my view on politics to anyone, but he went on to explain that the PP was recruiting Foreigners to represent the minority groups that exist here in Spain and in particular in our town of Sax.
I had to think about this for a few moments, with Antonio, asking me “Well about it?” I said “hold on a moment, let me think about this” “But it’s a perfect opportunity for you David, you know that if you get into the mad house, you will get paid for it”, (Mad House his name for the local Town Hall). “That may be” I said, “but there is more to it than that”, “Oh don’t worry about that David, you know you are the perfect person to make an impression in the local government here in Sax”, now this had me thinking at 100 thoughts a second, what if? “I will have to sleep on it”, I said to Antonio, he replied that we should have another coffee before I made up my mind.
Now I know as much about local politics as most people know about brain surgery, and he was asking me to stand for a post in the local government, of a foreign country, where on a good day I can hold a conversation in a bar or BBQ? Now come on, what do you take me for? Some kind of suicide jockey, (suicide jockey, a raving idiot on a motorcycle) I do not even know which side of the fence the Partido Popular stand, let alone who their president is, but hey, wait a moment, could I stand up and be a candidate for a local political party?
I sipped my coffee and took another bite from my tostada, chewing very slowly and thinking things over and not wanting to seem to be too excited by the prospect of standing for an election in my local community. I could see the expression on Antonio’s face change from a happy grin to a slightly concerned look, almost disappointed that I was keeping him waiting, like he has done with me in the past, and secretly I was enjoying this moment, watching his face, and he knew that something was ticking over in my mind, “Well”, he asked, “what you say to this”? “Ok” I replied, what am I letting myself in for, I thought to myself, Antonio’s face lit up and all was well in the bar, I did not have to pay for my coffee & tostada that morning my friend bought it for me, and his new “Friend” in the Partido Popular, well not yet be soon would be.
So that afternoon we visited another local bar to meet the president of the local branch of the Partido Popular, Vincente Gil Sauco, who had asked Antonio if he knew a foreigner that would be stupid enough to stand for local elections in May, and represent the foreigners of Sax, well here I am standing in front of him and looking rather lost in what I am about to expose myself to, and feeling very nervous about the whole idea and was having second thoughts about the role I was about to take on. Still I am up for the challenge and with a little help from other members of the PP, I should fit in and go with the flow.