After spending two nights at a quiet Carrefour parking lot in the Barcelonan suburb of Castelldefels, we decided that we needed to be in closer proximity to the Mediterranean. That way we could smell salty fresh on a daily basis.
We packed up, or rather secured everything in their little storage room and overhead bins as per our routinely pre-departure checklist. (Adapted to MurphyNo. 1’s more down-to Earth movements from KLM’s pre-flight checklist.)
This time we decided we did not need to journey far. “Head onto the coastal road and find a nice secluded beachy spot somewhere”, we said.
Up and down, and coming around a few mountains we went. Until we reached our perfect Catalonian prime spot, Coma-Ruga. At this time of year a quiet resort town.
With Murphy perfectly nestled under a light on a small parking lot wedged between an empty hotel and an apartment building, with the beach three meters away, we were satisfied with our choice.
As night quickly crept upon us, and moon shone brightly above the palm trees on the sandy beach, we went to bed with the sounds of the waves hitting the shore in the distance.
Then out of nowhere, in the middle of the darkest hour, suddenly, without a warning a loud banging sound from outside the car.
Half-comatose, eyes were opened inside.
Was it the wind? How could that be the wind?
Not a word spoken inside.
Eyes trying to adjust to the light.
BOOM!!!! A metallic-like noise was heard outside. This time on the other side of the vehicle.
The sound of something hitting the ground a few times.
This is definitely not the wind.
Two sets of eyes meeting each other in the darkness inside.
Acknowledgement of the siege going on.
Not a sound from inside.
Trying to carefully look through the cracks between the blinds. Nothing is seen. Nothing is heard.
Then another jolt. This louder. And a different spot. On the car.
The door handle.
Ferocious grabbing on the handle from the outside.
Shaking the entire car. Like the big bad wolf desperately trying to get in.
Another strike. Like something is being ripped off the car. Violently.
In the darkness we wait. In the middle of the night. In the car. With only a few centimeters of 32 year old badly kept plastic exterior separating us from Whomever.
Inside the eggshell that is Murphy, the yolk sits quietly. Listening. Pulse is rising, The alert level is set to above red. Whatever the most critical color is. Is the egg about to be cracked into?
A decision. Police must be called. But softly. Is there someone waiting outside? Just for this? For us to venture out? So that we then can be ambushed?
More waiting. Silence.
Just the sound of the waves and the wind gently brushing the palm trees.
Waiting. Silence. Waiting. Silence.
Police responds. For the second time. The first time they didn’t understand English nor the (perceived) need for us to speak softly, almost whispering. This time they do speak English.
After a long chat they inform us that police might, just might, be on their way. They are not sure.
So we wait again. In silence.
A deafening silence.
This must be a small fraction of the feeling of being in the trenches. Only knowing that the outcome of peeking outside is uncertain.
Yet this is nothing.
But at the moment, it feels like something.
An almost soundless car approaches with blue lights lighting up the inside of Murphy.
This is the moment. We’ll storm our own barricade. We’ll crack our own eggshell like a brash chicken ready to face world.
And so we opened the door.
Someone had been vandalizing the car that night. Most likely in a failed attempt to get inside to rob the car.
Perhaps even more likely, this was an aborted attempt, as they might have seen one of us through the window.
Some of the noises heard were from pieces of the security around the back window being broken off. The back window is now broken.
The nice officers informed us to go to the police station the next morning and file a report. After spending an hour waiting for the wheel of bureaucracy to move, the report was filed.
Luckily this is covered by our insurance.
Now we’re preparing.
For even if this was nothing, it will likely not be last time,
For this is how the world is. And you’ve got to be prepared.
We were somewhat prepared.
Next time we’ll be even more so.
All in all, the beach was nice, though. But it was time to build the house of bricks and move on to another idyllic place.
Hopefully, without the dark character trait.
In the end, there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.
And garden gnomes. Always fear garden gnomes. They can’t be trusted.