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NORTH-AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS IN RURAL CENTRAL SPAIN

( This paper was never published. Some 12 years old, still worth reading and give consideration. It is reproduced here to anyone's curio...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Breaking and entering

That’s the title of a recent movie starred by my much admired Mrs. Penn, Sean’s wife, neé Robin Wright, as an autistic child’s mother.

And that’s our most recent adventure when last Monday, in the wee hours of the morning, an intruder broke into our home through one of the kitchen’s windows. On hearing a minor crack in the stairway, I woke up, grabbed a long walking stick I keep by my bedside and confronted the bastard, shouting my head off: “I’ll kill you, son-of-a-bitch…!” and few other niceties the Spanish language allows. He run away and lost himself in the nearby woodland.

The only thing missing was my wife's purse that was sitting in a bench by the stairway, which we later found in the garden with everything but the money, some 100 €.

The police came over in a few minutes but there was no trace of the intruder. In the morning, when the police came by to finish their work up, they informed us that there had been five more homes in the neighborhood assaulted that very night, but the others did not found out they have been assaulted until they woke up in the morning. “Silent robbers” are called the bastards.

After more than twenty years of peaceful living in our neighborhood, not caring much for building fences or locking doors, a recent wave of robberies is making our life a bit uneasy. We are not sure getting anti-burglar alarm systems will restore our peace. Nor upgrading my walking stick to a more deadly weapon either. Mind you the walking stick is more of a pole: a four foot long, one and a half inch thick ash wood rod, with a thick knob in one end and tapered in the other, ending with a metal tip. This is used commonly by the Pyrenees shepherds. I bought it some years back in the valley of Broto, where my father’s ancestors came from. It is pretty much the size and shape of the old “pilum”, the weapon favored by the Ibers of old to fight the Romans. That historic stupidity has given me some sense of security I wonder if I will ever regret. Will see.

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