Saturday, November 7, 2009

The trust at the bottom of the garden

People trust each other where I live.

I’m not talking about the kind of confidence where no one needs to lock their doors. I mean that you don’t see that look of suspicion in the eyes of a stranger that you consistently do in England, for example.

I think that in Western Europe most people trust those around them.

There seems to be a basic belief that the men and women next to you are not out to cheat you or somehow do you wrong. And this is despite terrorism, theft and selfish outlooks on daily display, in addition to a media that feeds on reporting crime

Of course this unstated faith is regularly abused. Maybe routinely so. Yet it continues.

I live on the outskirts of a medium sized town of about 25,000 people in Catalonia, northern Spain (or southern Catalonia, depending on your outlook towards the independence movement here.)

Behind my apartment building there are large grapevine plantations and paths running through them. Every day people walk there, jog, or take their dogs for exercise

But there are no fences.

It would be easy and cheap to put fences around these fields but nobody has felt this to be necessary. Thousands of euros of vineyards lie apparently unattended and unguarded.

If this was in Israel or near an English town would it be the same?

My guess is no.


ANA said...

Yes, people in Britain are obsessed with space and people invading it. I have so many stories of people trying to 'nick' a bit of garden here and there and just the general boundaries people have can be quite peculiar. Nice blog by the way,I like to read about other people's views and experiences here in Spain.

Brett Hetherington said...

Thanks for the comment, ANA. I think you make a very good point when you say that "Yes, people in Britain are obsessed with space and people invading it."

I think the single most important fact about land in England (but also the least know fact)is that 50% of it is unregistered. In other words, it is simply not available for sale.

Is it any wonder that people are competing for inches? Even 70 years ago George Orwell called it a crowded little country.