Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Juan Negrin's Way

Across "the main drag" of Torrelano from my hotel a street begins called Calle del Jardin, I could paraphrase it The Garden Walk - it is lined with trees, but not exactly pastoral, with the buildings at the eastern edge of town on the left, and a field and low brick building on the right. It's the initial step of the walk to work this week, which I inaugurated yesterday. After a walk of a few hundred yards, it turns a corner, and from then on is known as Calle de Juan Negrin.

Juan Negrin was a Spanish Finance Minister in the 1930's, then country leader, apparently known among other things for strengthening the army and helping usher in the post-Franco era. I suspect there are other J. Negrin streets to be found in this country.

The C.J.N. works its way between orchards of artichokes, fruit and nuts, and what appear to be the aftermaths of bombing raids, with sparsely placed buildings like the one across from the train station,
perhaps once elegant houses, perhaps businesses,  definitely not apartment blocks; missing roofs usually, no glass anywhere, well-graffiti'd, never, of course, made of wood, which has forever been in short supply and expensive.

Clusters of palm trees appear here and there, one laid out like an orchard, with careful stacks of fronds between, it can't only be for Palm Sunday, I am thinking, is there food there? At one point there is a fairly new windmill of an old design long used to pump water, and on its vane, optimistically hand-lettered, .com (I can't recall the name of the company.)

After a mile or two, you get glimpses of the business park which is my destination, home to at least one major shoe manufacturer among other things. All business/industrial parks are more or less the same; this one sports the de rigeur roundabouts of the European context, is perhaps a little more dense, but the height of the buildings, and its overall size are seen across America as well.

Near this midway spot on my "trial run" of this route, I encountered a man in his seventies, on a walk with his dog, tossing bits of meat to disheveled-looking small dogs who lived in what could be called a small farmyard. I encountered several pedestrians, and only a few cars and motorcycles.

My colleagues here think I'm a bit insane, I believe, to be walking to work. I feel quite proud.

No comments:

Post a Comment