Thursday, May 12, 2005

During a parliamentary debate yesterday, the President and Leader of the Opposition blew up a hurricane of insults over the so-called Plan for Galicia. The former insisted that the government was spending unprecedented sums on the region, while the latter accused them of paralysing the Plan. One of them must be wrong; they can’t both be lying, can they? But wait a minute, don’t we have regional elections in June?

A local traffic policemen has been arrested for offering to waive a parking fine in return for a date. Is this the same chap, I wonder, who let Andrew’s wife off a minor offence and then commented she was rather young for a widow. So will he, when he reads this.

Yet another survey on national sex attitudes. 73% of Spanish men and 71% of Spanish women profess to being happy with their sex lives, though in each case a slightly higher percentage thinks their partner gets more out of it than them. Not sure what, if anything, we can read into this. Except that the women are more accurate about their partners. Possibly even their husbands.

I decided to process 3 bill payments this morning and, as cheques are unknown in Spain, this involved a trip into town. At the bank, my tax return was processed quickly and pleasantly enough. And payment of the annual car tax was similarly expeditious, though I was surprised that the cashier who does nothing but calculate each and every day could give me insufficient change. But at my insurance agents I ran into problems. The challenge was to pay 6 euros for an extension to my policy but it transpired that they’d already sent a direct debit demand to my bank for said amount. This is despite the fact I don’t have such an arrangement with them and every year for the last 4 years they’ve written to me to say that the bank has rejected their demand for the annual premium so could I please come in and give them cash. No matter, I said, I’ll just give you the cash now. Oh no, they said, we’ll have to wait until the bank writes back to us, then we’ll send you a letter and you can come in again and pay us then, in about 15 days. This is a classic example of Spanish bureaucracy in action – senseless, rigid, paper-strewn, wasteful of everyone’s time and presided over by people who lack either the initiative or the courage to change things. Or am I being too harsh? After all, 2 successful transactions out of 3 is not a bad morning’s work in Spain. And I’ve got 15 days’ interest on 6 euros.


Anonymous said...

I see you have written 55, 000 words of blog - which is the equivalent of a short novel.

Anonymous said...

I am simply amazed that you managed to do two banking transactions smoothly and in the same morning. This is a minor miracle. Please let me know which saint you pray to.