When I bought a Honda car last year, I did hope - even believed - that the customer service would be above average. But I'm afraid to say it ain't. I asked for 2 things at my first service:- 1. A replacement wing mirror, after some fool (me) had cracked it, and 2. An estimate for painting all the little scratches incurred over 12 months. More than a month later, I'm still waiting. I can't see this happening in Japan.
Talking of the car and service . . . I filled up with petrol(gas) last night and was rather taken aback when the guy took my card and asked me if I knew my PIN. But then he brought me down to earth when he said the machine didn't work and asked me, as ever, to show my ID and to sign a chit. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Gibraltar: Those of us who thought the border nonsense would stop once the summer was over have been proved wrong. Instead, the Spanish government - having noted that the number of people on bikes had shot up - now includes pedestrians and cyclists in their infamous searches. Spain has had 300 years to get used to a couple of facts 1. It doesn't own Gibraltar, and 2. Hardly anyone living there wants them to. You'd think this would be enough to lead to some real politique and some sensible discussion about relieving the UK of a sovereinty it doesn't want but, sadly, this seems beyond Spanish politicians, of whatever stamp. Click here for a Spanish view (in Castellano) on how Madrid's stupidity is affecting the local economy. Essentially - as with the suppliers of sand, stone and aggregates - it's the nearby Spanish communities that are suffering. Perhaps this wouldn't be so bad if Madrid's policies were productive but they clearly aren't. Simply put, the Spanish have a government they don't deserve. Though they did vote them in.
Mind you, it has to be said the politicians are operating in a culture which is less ethical than others. Click here for a case of large-scale exam cheating up here in Galicia. It would be interesting to initiate a debate on the definition of cheating as between, say, Sweden, and Spain. I'm pretty sure the latter's would be narrower.
One of the upsides of ageing is that now and again you're reminded me of an artist and his/her songs that you haven't heard for ages. And then back flood the voice, the melodies, and even the words. If you're really lucky, back too come associations in time. This happened to me this morning when Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood mentioned a tribute concert to Jimmy Reed. Sadly, the association I have is the loss of all my blues collection when some bastard in (I have to say it) Liverpool smashed the window of my Morris Minor GT and took it from the back seat. Where I'd been foolish enough to leave it.
Spooky, isn't it? Yesterday I searched for details of a hotel near Oporto airport for my visitors and this morning I see there's an ad for the place on my blog. I wonder if there's anything about me that Google hasn't got on file?
I'm undergoing a minor invasion of silverfish. Every time I enter my bathroom one seems to race from somewhere or other. Usually to death, as they eat the glue in my books. Inter alia.
Finally . . . if you think Spain is a low-tax country, this article is for you.