Huge success

As my sister gets behind the wheel, I place my hands against the back of the old green car. The neighbor, who has tied both cars together with a rope, is already sitting in the other car. Since going uphill is not an option, there is no other choice than to pull the old wreck in the direction of Benissivà. In reverse – because unfortunately the other car does not have a tow bar. The neighbor has barely put his foot on the gas when my sister starts waving wildly. “Stop!” We barely even started and she already had enough. “I can’t make the turn properly!” she exclaims alarmed. I try my best not to burst out laughing. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the old car doesn’t have any power steering. Neither that it scares her. The one time I drove a car without power steering, I also parked a parking space and a half next to the parking spot where I had actually intended to park. Only after the neighbor has reassured her do we continue our way. Him in reverse, my sister behind the wheel (without power steering) and me, pushing, behind all of them.

The night has already fallen. Except for a few passers-by (one who helped me push a little bit halfway), the streets are empty. The neighbor’s green car, which we keep rolling and pulling in the direction of Benissivà, is one of the last cars to slowly disappear from the streets of Benialí. The annual cherry festival of Vall de Gallinera, which will take place the next day in the streets of the village, cannot use stowaways. Not even if they refuse to leave on their own. So we continue our way steadily. The rope, which breaks halfway between the road from Benialí to Benissivà, lasts just long enough. The neighbor, who has also broken out in a sweat, gets out. While my sister and I look anxiously down the steep slope, he positions the old car just in front of it. After thanking us several times, he gets in. As the car rolls down at a high speed, my sister holds her breath. “Oh, no!” she exclaims in alarm. “He really has way too much speed!” How he manages to get the thing down without power steering is a mystery to us. But it works. When we see from the headlights that the car has come to a stop, we start to laugh. It is never boring in Benialí. When the neighbor comes up a minute later, smiling as well, we can go home without having to worry. Although he offers us a lift, we decide to walk. Pushing the car made me sweat. The short walk through the fresh evening air does me good. “How is he ever going to get that thing back up?” A few minutes later my sister looks at me questioningly. I shrug. “That’s a problem for another day.” We glance at the gigantic empty space in front of our house. All the cars are gone. Both garbage containers were pushed forcefully through the fence of an empty piece of land opposite to the church. And the recently hung shade cloths are there to prevent visitors from being roasted alive the next day. I really can’t think of anything that could stand in the way of the success of the twenty-first cherry festival of Vall de Gallinera.