Spain 7

HTML clipboardDespite the couple of beers and agreeable company, I still had no idea where to start looking for the wanderer in Milan.

A good nights kip and a hefty fat boys Italian breakfast didn’t help either, which is very rare.

The only event that Cyclops had come up with that was on in Milan was the final of some kind of  artistic glass competition.

“Why glass Cyclops?” I had asked a little confused

“Because it is sponsored by a gin company and in my experience all those expats in Spain drink gin” He explained

“A bit thin isn’t it?” I said

“No, but very different to Gordons” He replied

“What is?” I asked somewhat perplexed at his odd response

“Bombay Saphire”

“Whats Bombay Saphire got to do with the price of fish”

“They are sponsors of the glass competition”

“I didn’t mean the gin was thin you prawn I meant the theory was thin”

“OH I see, yes sorry, no indeed it’s thin as a whores panties, but there is sod all else that I can see going on there, in fact, having looked at the travel pattern, if you can call it that,  it just doesn’t make any sense to me at all.  Why go to the beach resorts in winter for example?”

“Maybe he likes the peace and quiet” I suggested

“Hmmm maybe, but I aint so sure, if he liked that why move to southern Spain, he could have gone to Little Hampton of Skegness, no there is something not quite kosher here but I am buggered if I know what, but I am working on it and will come back to you asap”

In the absence of any better idea I decided to make enquiries at reception about the glass exhibition.  It was a total blow out.  get it glass blow, glass blowing, oh please yourself.  Anyway after a very dull and unproductive day I decided to eat at a pizzeria.  Its odd how the word Pizzeria  always makes me want to eat pizza and drink red wine.  I just have to see it and I imagine a dark little place with oak beams, candles, gingham table clothes and wicker covered wine bottles and Pizza.  Funny that.

So there I was minding my own business attacking my Pizza with moderate enthusiasm, when I had a thought about the hire car, why not either go back and see if somebody knew where he was going or failing that sit up on the hire car office at just before the time the car was due back.  God I dont believe how bloody thick I can be sometime, talk about an obvious thing to do, these detectives in books and on the telly make it look so easy.

Inspired by my slow genius I got stuck into my quarto staggioni and Chianti with gusto.  Genius is good for the appetite.

Next morning I went off to the airport to speak to the car hire people.  It was a lovely day and I felt good and really positive.

I presented myself and explained I was trying to find a friend and that he had a car booked.  I expected some resistance from what seemed an officious young man, but none came as he tapped away at his keyboard.

“Si he has de reservation, a small car a panda due to return…..” tap tap tap tap enter.

“No scuzie it is er not possible” he said

“What is not possible?”

“To tell you when he a bring a de car back”

“Why not?” I said feeling a little miffed

“Becasue your a friend he no collecata de car when he should, He not a cancell de booking so we charge im de cancellation, no show  noding else, I am sorry, bud I canna helper you furder”

“Ah you sure?”

“Si I am very sure look a here” and with some considerable effort he turned his screen round to show me.

“Do you think a your friend ok, can I help a you more?” He asked looking a bit upset.

“Well I dont know”

“I help a you if I can because my little brudder he live in Sicilia and he disappear, but I think it not an accident, he only twenty three but I still look a for im when ever I can.”

“I am sorry to hear that, maybe I could take some details and could ask questions on my travels”

He smiled “I don’t think you find him, but I av de papers and a good photos of im” He opened a drawer in his desk and gave me a very well produced A5 size flyer with a good photo of a serious looking young man.

“Now I search our system and see if he hire cars other places with us and I ask out central department to tell me same things.  Shall I ring you or I can email when I know”

“Which ever”

“I do both” he said emphatically.

I gave him my business card and left the airport and in the absence of anything better idea I headed back to the hotel to get decided what to do next.  My initial thought was to get my stuff and head for home asap, but it was that kind of knee jerk reaction that had got me here on a fools errand in the first place.

When I got to the hotel I ran a nice hot bath and had a good old soak in some fancy Italian bubble bath and read my book.  Despite the fancy bottle and name it reminded me of that kids bubble bath Matey my mum used to use on us when were kids. I don’t know if they still do it, probably full of E numbers that make you hyper and not enough fish oils to make you brainy.  Have emerged from my bath, very pink and looking like a lobster and with my paper back soggy around the edges I rang Cyclops to see if he had any bright ideas or Interpol buddies who might be able to throw some light on the missing brother, at least my conscience would be clear.

Cyclops said he would ask the questions and wait for the email from the car hire people and in the meantime we talked over what to do?  Did the fact that Tom did not pick up the car in Milan mean he had never arrived?  Had he ever been to or left Sofia? The client had forced the pace and insisted I come to Milan, but at the time I said there were a lot of unanswered questions and loose ends.

I decided that before I left Cyclops should ring the hotel in Sofia where Tom had stayed before allegedly leaving for Milan and that I would sit tight for now and would make a decision when he had any further info.

I didn’t sit tight for long, Cyclops rang back less than an hour later.

“Norm it was a little hard speaking to anyone who would commit themselves but it seems as if our man stayed an extra night in Sofia and did not take the flight to Milan after all, however he then left to go to some resort on the the black sea the hotel in Sofia made the reservation for him.”


“Yeah well I rang the hotel they said he was going to, but they said he never showed up”

“So on the face of it he is still in Bulgaria some where but we dont know where”

“Well yes and no, an email has just come in confirming a flight from Sofia to London in about a months time and there is a car being hired in a place called hang on a mo I will try to get The name right Veileko Turnover or something like that, sorry, but Bulgarian is not my strongest language, but it looks as if it is sort of mid way between Sofia and the black Sea.”

“Ok well let see what the client wants shall we.”

I rang the client and told her we had found a big fat zero in Milan and about  the Bulgarian Saga.  It transpired that a man they sort of knew vaguely in Spain had moved there.  He was in the Bulgarian property business and had set up base not far from Velkro Turnover or whatever the place was called but that was the only connection and that was really tenuous.  After some badgering she said she thought his name was Arkins or Ardins but she couldn’t remember and in any case they didn’t know him at all.  Despite her not knowing why Tom was there she said she wanted me to go and follow this lead as soon as.  She also said that she was going back to Spain that evening as she had no further business in the UK and that something urgent that had cropped up.  She had sent payment for what we had done and extra to cover ongoing enquiries and asked that I keep on the case.

I can tell you, she was keener than I was for me to go to Bulgaria, but she was sure -again-that it was the right move.

I was not so sure- again.

I have never really cared for Bulgaria and all this talk of it being the new France or Spain is in my opinion a load of old bollocks.  True, you can get shed of a house that you wouldn’t want to live in for next to nothing and a mega size bottle of beer for about 60p.

However despite my fondness for beer it has never played a major part in me influencing where I should live.  However, I regret to say that it has on more than one occasion played a major part in influencing where I have slept.

Oh yes and with whom, hangs head in shame.

3 Responses to “Spain 7”

  1. havingmycake says:

    Matey was certainly still around up until a few years ago because I used it for my kids. It seemed to cause less skin problems than some of the other ‘baby friendly’ varieties.

    Since I started hanging around with Ruf, I have developed a fondness for foreign lagers. Please feel free to give an opinion on the Bulgarian variety as Im quite keen on both Polish Tisky and Czech Staropramen

  2. Bendy Girl says:

    Matey’s still going strong, I bought some last year ‘just because’ but it was too harsh for my skin. I love the bottles though

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