Monday, July 07, 2014

Recycling in Spain

They have a great way to recycle automotive materials in Spain. 
Like in a car crash. Male drivers in España follow their own machismo rules on the highway and a favorite game is to intimidate anyone in the fast lane by driving right up to your rear bumper to force you to pull across into a slower lane. Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonzo is a National hero. 

So if your nerves are not up to at least torrero standards, an accident may result.

Race everyone? Hell yes!

If your vehicle is then disabled to the point of being unable to drive it home for repairs. or worse, it is perhaps a write-off. If you have insurance at all. In some Mediterranean countries, the fine for driving without insurance is so low that many risk it instead of paying for the expensive coverage.   
More dangerous than Toro?

So you have an accidente. Your car is crunched.  And you fear the Guardia Civil.

What happens in Spain is that they, the senores from the Jefatura Provincial de Trafico de Malaga, just shove your cute little Seat (SeeAHT, a Spanish Fiat,)  over to the side of the road and simply leave it there.

In the first week, the battery, tires and wheels disappear. 
The thieves don't leave it suspended on four nice building blocks like you might find yours in the morning  here in North America when your wheels have been stolen, that would be wasteful, they use only one adobe block and a two by ten, or more likely a support pole 'borrowed' from a construction site. Easily leveraged for Hosay to lift any car while Roberto removes that wheel. Then plunk, onto the ground in 30 seconds and three more to go if they are undamaged. So the four wheels and tires are now gone. To a good home one could imagine. Even the Seat badge has become a great belt buckle. And you won't be protected by that Real Madrid crest, especially here in Andalusia.

In the second week, as you pass the now lowered Seat car hugging the ground like a legless beetle you might notice the seats (Seeets) missing, and probably any glass that was not broken in the impact. Windshield, side windows and rear windows. And anything possible from the dashboard, tachometer, speedometer in KPH,  gear knob, light switches, even the Bobblehead doll of Fernando that didn't bobble anymore and had somehow began to look more like the Frahnkensteen character from following too close to the leading car's exhaust pipe.

The third week. As you cruise by there will be nothing left of the front grill, chrome bumpers and trim. No headlights, tail lights, sidelights, doors or trunk lid!  Steering wheel gone. With remnants of snipped wiring dangling from under the dash or lying on the ground like rotting spaghetti. Most engine parts that come out will have been wrenched out.

On the fourth week, you'll slow as you pass and see nothing but a skeletal hulk, like some kind of alien bug that landed on the wrong planet and couldn't take the relentless Spanish sun. Wind wheezing through the shell like something from a Good, Bad, Ugly Spanish Western, that wiring swinging like a noose.

And if you're there at the right moment, you might see the flatbed truck from the highway department with a small crane on board. They stop right beside the former Seat, grasp it with medieval looking grappling hooks, and just hoist it onto the deck. 
And then it is gone in a diesel cloud. Off to a steel mill to become?  Banderillas?    Whatever. 

Fifth week, only an oil spot and tumbleweeds.  Try not to whistle.
Adios, poco amigo Seat.

Spanish recycling works.

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