Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Just another lesson

A pal, Alice, locked her car keys inside her car yesterday and for one reason or another I became the person to sort this out.

I approached the problem like an Englishman used to using the phone and computers.

No she wasn't a member of a car club so the "AA or RAC" option was out the window.

I checked the online Yellow Pages for a locksmith (cerrajero), none listed. I rang directory enquiries who weren't quite sure where Pinoso was and the technology didn't seem to help them so I had to suggest which towns to check for locksmiths. I got 3 numbers. One chap was out of the area till Monday, one said it was his dad's phone and he didn't know where his dad was and the third number was actually a private house.

Change of tack, I looked on the Pinoso Town Hall website for the number for the local police. Only the emergency number was listed. There was a number for the Guardia Civil but they must have been out for lunch. The call to them obviously transferred from their fixed line to a mobile number but nobody answered before the time limit on the phone system cut me off.

Now I'm getting cross. So we get in my car and drive to the local police station. The chap is dead helpful. "You don't want a locksmith, you want a metal worker/blacksmith for locks - there's one just across the road there."

We went to the blacksmith. He was nice too "We only deal with houses, garages, that sort of lock - you want a chapista." A chapista is a car bodywork place. He told us where there was one.

On the way to the bodywork shop we passed the local Fiat dealer where both Alice and I are customers (her car is a Fiat). It seemed sensible to ask the Fiat man if they had master keys or something. "Nothing like that I'm afraid but what you need is a chapista, there's one around the corner."

The chap at the chapista (Sorry, I couldn't help it) was very pleasant. No problem he said, we can get you in the car in a few minutes. And he did. And it only cost 15€.

Different place, different systems.

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