Things got quite interesting here last week. With summer approaching, a growing number of tourists are flocking to the Canaries and our apartment complex is home to quite a few vacation rentals.
On Monday morning, I opened the door to my terrace at around 7:00 am, coffee and laptop in hand. Half of our terrace has a private wall shielding us from our neighbours on either side, the other half is open. I stepped into the open half to see what my cat was doing and, our of the corner of my eye, I saw a figure to my left. I turned me head and saw a man of about 50-ish, leaning on the railings drinking in the beautiful ocean view … completely naked. The only reason that I didn’t see any offending parts was the fact that he had a tummy that seemed to cover it up and his left leg was raised slightly.
I stepped back behind the wall, cleared my throat loudly and few times and moved my chair around noisily so that he would know someone else was here. I waited, and then slowly peeked out to find he’d gone inside. Thank goodness. He made an appearance about 10 minutes later and waved enthusiastically to me, saying “Hallo,” in a German accent. I unenthusiastically waved back and said “Hola!” in the hopes that he’ll think I’m Spanish!
Michael and I were gone all day that day. We got home around 5 pm looking forward to a lovely beer and glass of wine after a long, hot day. There on the other terrace was Naked German Guy again. This time, he had on a tank top – but nothing on the bottom. Everything was hanging out for all the world to see! Seeing me, he grabbed the front of his tank top and covered up his jiggly bits and then waved at me with his other hand. “Hallo!” This time, I said nothing and very quickly got myself out of view.
He must have gotten the message, because, on the few times I saw him, he was fully clothed. Later on this week he knocked at my door and offered me 3 beers. Thinking it was a peace offering, I invited him and his wife inside, but he declined. They were leaving the next day and didn’t want to waste the beer.
We spent most of last week in Tenerife applying for and picking up a NIE number. A NIE number is required if you want to do anything legal in Spain – buy a car, open and bank account, get health insurance and so on. It’s done at the police station. Before COVID, you could show up at any time, they would usher you inside and then, after checking your forms, they would issue it there and then. Now, you have to make an appointment, show up at the appointed time, hang around near a wall outside until a policeman comes and out and requests your paperwork. You hand it to him over the wall, he then checks it and, if it’s all in order, he tells you to come back in a couple of days to pick up your NIE number.
Because our appointment was at 10:00 am on Tuesday, we took a ferry over the night before where David put us up in a lovely hotel about 5 minutes away. This was our view the following morning.
When I tell people that I brought my cats over from Canada, they look at me with disbelief. That’s because the Canary Islands are home to thousands and thousands of stray, feral or semi-feral cats. They’re everywhere. Snoozing under a chair in the Italian Restaurant we had lunch at last week
Hanging out in the streets
Everywhere you look – there they are. A lot of people feed them and there are a few groups who capture them, have them spayed and neutered and then released. Of course, as a cat lover, I’ve taken to feeding a couple of cats who hang around my flat. One little tortoiseshell waits by my door at around 3:30 pm every day and meows loudly when I come out to feed her. It looks as though she’s pregnant, so I’m trying to figure out a way of having her spayed after she’s had her kittens.
But, for the most part, they’re well fed by a lot of people in the community.
As for my own cats, Lucy has completely settled in and is exploring every inch of our flat.