Pulling the plug…

I think I’m enjoying this. I sit relaxed, my 2 year old has been asleep for over an hr, not even a stir. My wife relaxes in the next room, back looking to buy ‘stuff’ from amazon. It’s starting to feel like home from home. What a contrast to just a week prior. When the night brought dread. But what’s changed? Let me try and bring you up to date…

My remote working was going like clockwork. It was becoming to feel quite normal. The problem was everyone else didn’t quite seem to be on the same page? I was ignoring the warning signs around me. Mosquitoes bites on everyone, oh yeah, my feet and ankles are covered. Oops, scratched that one. Should have really had that checked. My wife had not slept properly in over a week. Also, having a daily dread over driving out to civilisation, past the dog and the iron bridge… Although she did also inform me she managed it without causing the parking sensors to go off once.. A perfect score in the iron bridge ‘operation game’! Plus the 20 cats that seemed to roam free amongst the orange growths that seemed so idyllic upon arrival, also surround our house at night. The small space inside. The ants that seemed to get everywhere, sealed packets of biscuits were no match. Anything sweet or savoury left open were fair game.

remote working dream, right?

Now the TV won’t work for Spanish Pepper Pig… ‘That’s it. We need to get out of here. Either we leave here, or we go home this weekend.’ Oh dear. I sensed this was no idle threat. My wife was serious this time. We’d reached out to our hosts, what can we do to leave this weekend? We just wanted a compromise rather than needing to stay the full 2 months. They were not playing ball, the cancellation policy was clear, we had to pay the 30 days from cancellation, a full months rent. They weren’t keen to allow us to cancel on the discounted rate we’d negotiated either. Can we really afford to leave now and get accommodation elsewhere? Where could we go? We definitely can’t afford to have this scenario repeat itself.

I told the family to go out for the day, maybe get a feel for other locations that may be better suited. I will try and compromise with our hosts, maybe we could gain agreement to help make things better should we decide to stay. I thought a soft approach was key, a face to face chat would be best, clear the air. Strangely they weren’t keen, a WhatsApp negotiation was their preference. A language barrier was there sure, but I feel you can still read peoples faces and general feelings, so things don’t needlessly escalate. I thought we managed to make progress. The negotiation around the neighbours dog, sort the TV, get some ant traps… We felt we’d give it another go.  The bad blood remained, but we decided to put it behind us. Just needed a good night sleep and we’d be back on track.

Is it so bad?

Meanwhile, we’d been checking out other accommodation up and down the costa del sol, with being in the country we were keen to look round any new place prior to committing. Strangely not many people were up for this. I however became an expert of finding places on google maps satellite and street view. It’s a god send. Pictures are one thing but as we should have known already, location, location, location is key…

It had reached Thursday and although my nemesis (the neighbourhood dog) was subdued, the sleep had not improved. We had not yet found an accommodation suitable within the budget either. But we had an option to leave with only losing 50% of our 2 month rental, OK, this could work. Let’s get out of here. But where do we go instead? Do we go home and cut our losses. We could get the boat back from Bilboa or Santander, could be a good road trip. It’d have to work with my wife flying back with our 2 year old, and I would drive back with our accumulated essential and none essential stuff. Regardless the plug was pulled, we leave the house on Sunday no matter what. The next move would be critical.

Friday came with no new place in sight, I thought I’d give it another go whilst the family went out for the day. Searching in-between calls. I think I’ve got it. I quickly messaged the contact for his best offer for 2 months, a response was swift. He even later offered for us to take a look round, seeing as we were in the area, no push from our side necessary. I was keen to get this done, ASAP. I quickly rang my wife to revert her day out to a new location. This was top priority. Reluctantly she agreed to a 1 hr detour to a location issued over google. The meet was happening.

I continued working the afternoon with little news. Suddenly there was a call from my wife, she could not find the place. It was a one-way. There was no way in. ‘I hate it already’ – oh no. I quickly message the contact. A pretty decent German chap ‘Yes, I think I have seen her, a blue SUV?’ That was her. A quick message to her again ‘don’t leave, he has seen you.’ ‘Oh right, that must have been the guy I almost ran over just now’ she nonchalantly replies. Nothing more for a while now. What’s happening? I message the guy again. ‘Yes, no problem. I am with her now’ Phew! I wait for news of how it went, it felt like hours they spent without even a word. A brief message ‘We are on our way home, all fine’ All fine? How did it go? Are we on? I need to know!?

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