Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Neighbors, Part II

Spent the weekend once again trying to track down the neighbors who own the land where our electrical posts will go. And, through gossip and actual encounters, I learned a lot in the process: that the head of the water mafia in town, whom everyone seems to hate, is not terribly well-educated: he spells "Nieves" with a "B"; that the monstrosity going up near Cesar's house was supposed to be a new home but has since been turned into an insurance office; that the father of Eduardo, the construction-company's owner, is a lawyer; that Emilio, who owns the tiny grocery in town, might be something of a political counterweight to Alfonso, owner of the tobacco shop.

It's chestnut season in Asturias, and everywhere old men and women stand hunched on the side of the road, with sacks and baskets for collecting. And at the neighbors' houses too: wooden boxes filled with shiny chestnuts left to dry a bit in the sun. Back at the molino I collected a bowlful myself, pulling back the burrs that look like prickly golf balls to reveal the trio of nuts inside.

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