Friday, July 23, 2010

Spain, like Russia, had a keen interest in knowing whether the International Court of Justice was going to pronounce the independence of Kosovo legal or illegal. As it was the former, there will be concern here that, especially ahead of an election year, this will put more wind in the already-billowing sails of those in Cataluña demanding secession from Spain. As things stand, neither Spain nor Russia have recognised Kosovo, even though 22 of the 27 EU states have. And even though Brussels is calling for unanimous acceptance. Later maybe. After the elections.

I’ve received a glossy communication from Citibank, telling me how important I am to them and giving me a number to call should I ever have one of a wide range of problems. Nice but I’d be more convinced they had my interests at heart if the number weren’t premium rate.

Here’s a brief follow-up to yesterday’s dissertation on Efficiencies and Inefficiencies in Spain:-  
There was one general consideration I forgot to mention. The Spanish love to talk. Those who know me will retort, I’m sure, that this is rich coming from me. But, then, I know that there’s a time and a place for everything. So do the Spanish, of course, but we draw the line in different places. This is illustrated nicely by the following comparison:- If you stop your car in the middle of the road because you’ve seen a friend with whom you’d like a five minute chat, the drivers behind you will wait patiently until you’ve finished. If you delay five seconds at a green light, the sky will fall on you.

If you combine the personal approach with the love of chatting, you get the sort of experience where you have to re-start your conversation numerous times because the person you’re talking to responds to and chats to everyone who phones or comes in to interrupt you. Very civil (to them, if not you) but not very efficient. Even less efficient, of course, is allowing yourself to be knocked out of your stride by every conceivable verbal interruption when you're, say, writing a report.

Anyway, courtesy of several readers, here are more things to go with yesterday’s:-

USUALLY INEFFICIENT

Cafés:I forgot to include them yesterday.
Mail delivery of letters from abroad:Two to three days is the norm.
Banks. Excellent on-line: Can make payments anywhere in Eurozone free and instantaneous, with confirmation e-mail sent to payee. Accounts updated in real-time

USUALLY INEFFICIENT

Mail delivery of magazines from abroad: Several weeks or never.
Paradors: Because they’re government owned and the staff are civil servants
Couriers: Useless. Seem to go into "nobody at home" mode if your house isn't conveniently situated.
Telefónica. As it used to be known. Now Movistar.
TV industry: Inability to find programmes scheduled until day of broadcast, showing same event on two channels; ignoring other sports (motor cycling last weekend)

Finally, to reward those who got this far, here's a foto of my sun-worshipping neighbour, at 7.30 this morning . . .

2 comments:

Ferrolano said...

Colin,

Is the sun worshipper your seafaring neighbor Tony? He seems to be getting himself set for the grand dawn awakening of the summer solstice or, the 16 meter high dive…….

Colin said...

No, but my calendar tells me his back today. So have bought an extra box of ear plugs for the next 6 weeks!