Monday, October 16, 2006

The Spanish are famous for their capacity to either ignore or break rules. And the bare truth is this attitude is catching. After 6 years here, there’s a small raft of things I now do that I would never have thought of doing in the UK. Last night, for example, I did my usual trick of turning round over a solid white line in the middle of the [admittedly quiet] road. Ironically, the penalty for doing this has recently increased so the motivation for ignoring the law must stem from knowledge this is acceptable practice to the populace, rather than from a reduced fear of the consequences if caught. This is doubtless reprehensible behaviour on my part but, then, this is how societies operate. And anyone who doesn’t use personal contacts to get things done in the bureaucracy is an idiot. Not to mention getting parking fines reversed. Where I failed miserably, even though the alleged offence was outside my own house. By my bloody daughter.

Possibly about 30 years too late, the Spanish police have set up a specialist unit to tackle corruption in the construction sector in Madrid, M├ílaga and Murcia. Maybe it will be called ‘The M Team’. Anyway, this, rather than global warming, may well be the reason why property developers from these infamous places have recently decided to pile into the Galician coast. If things follow their normal trajectory, it will be quite a while until we have a similar capacity to tackle irregularities. It usually takes about 20 years for us to get what they enjoy in Madrid and the south - the AVE high speed train being a good case in point. So, I guess we can look forward to more Russian ‘visitors’.

I can’t believe it’s not possible for servers to automatically delete all messages headed “Your portal to all sexual enhancers” or “Every med to make your girl happy”. After all, I’ve been receiving at least 3 copies a day of each of these for months now. I’m now getting at least 30 SPAM messages a day and only Google seems to be able to filter them out with anything close to 100% accuracy. Mind you, one or two raise a smile. Last week I got one from someone called something like Michael Greene who claimed a Manchester address and an [inaccurate] Manchester phone number but just happened to have a Hong Kong email address. Oh, and several messages from the brother of ex President Aristide of Haiti. Enough, already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The problem now with a special unit for corruption is that, who can warrant that the unit doesn't get corrupted too? The construction bussines moves so much money right now that they can afford to buy airports in UK and a large part of the largest petroleum company in Spain, so be sure that the officers in that unit are going to face some tentations in the future.