I’m renting a room in the south of Spain for a few months to give me some time to write my novel. Today I was I curled on the sofa reading a book (i.e. not writing my novel) when a man came to the door. I have been working through Michel Thomas’s Spanish CDs but that did not help me at all when it came to trying to understand what this man was telling me. He sounded quite excited about something. I got the word “Agua” – water – and from the hand gestures he was making I guessed that he was talking about a water pipe. He motioned to me to follow him round the back of the house where our water tank is. A pipe connected to the tank had somehow come apart at the joint and water was gushing out onto the driveway. Not good in general and particularly not now when there is a drought.

The man then produced some tools and began tinkering with the pipe, at one point indicating that I should get out the way before a jet of water shot in my direction. I had, and still have, no idea how the pipe came apart or how he was able to see it from the road (it is hidden from view by the driveway) and began to worry that he was a conman who went around breaking people’s water pipes and then fixing them for a fee. I was already planning how I would evade him if he asked for money (I would point over his shoulder, wait till he turned, scramble past him down the driveway and lock myself into the house – not a very sophisticated plan, I know) when he put his spanner away, said “Adios!” and walked off, the pipe now intact and leak free.

How silly of me to worry that he was a conman. He was obviously just a good person who saw that my water pipe was broken and wanted to help. I think. If a bill for the repair comes in the next few days I’ll let you know.


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