Friday, July 22, 2011

Note: I wrote an Economics & Politics post earlier today. So scroll down, if these interest you.

I'm sorry but Rick Stein is at it again. Annoying me, I mean. In the 30 minutes of his latest program I caught last night, he did his level best to further the myth that Galicia (and the whole of northern Spain in fact) is perpetually shrouded in fog and subject to continuous rain. Well, I can't talk for the Cantabrian coast but I can say this ain't at all true of the Atlantic coast. OK, winters here are grey and pretty wet but you'd have to go a long way to get better summers than we have. So, cut it out, Ricky boy. On second thoughts, don't. We don't want foreign tourists here, spoiling the ecosystem with their stupidly large tips . . .

Yoigo: Chapter Two
Yes, sir.
I was here last night. I'd like to sign up for your Option 8.
There's a minimum of 6 euros a month.
Good. I thought it was 8.
Do you have your documents?
I have my passport, my residence card, fotos, and bank documents. And (producing a vial from my pocket) in this I have several drops of my blood.
(Smiling). OK. Could you give me a bank receipt.
(Offering a fan of the things). Take your pick!
(Taking one) This is dated March.
We need one dated – Let's see, it's July – May or June.
Well, you didn't say that last night but, fortunately, I have one.
OK. Can I have your passport.
Yes, but the document Amena/Orange used was my residence card.
So, we need to use that.
OK, I have a photocopy of that.
No, that's not good enough. We need to scan your card.
We just do. I need the original to scan.
(Wearily) OK. Here it is.
What's your address?
It's on the card.
Oh, yes. What's your phone number?
Which model phone do you want?
The simplest one you've got. No camera. No radio. Maybe an MP3. But no Bluetooth.
(Smiling indulgently at my naivety) You can't get a phone these days without Bluetooth. What about this one?
(She then starts to write the details in a ledger, thus demonstrating the mix of 18th and 21st century technology and attitude that one meets so often in Spain). Well, you should get the line within 6 days but, as today's a Friday and there's a holiday on Monday and two weekends, you won't get the line until August 2. But you can call in and get the phone on August 1.
Why should I do that if there's no line?
Well, you can wait until August 2 then.
Fine. Thanks.
Gracias. Hasta luego.

Less than an hour later, I was impressed to get a text from Yoigo telling me the process had begun and I didn't need to do anything else. They'd do everything. Within half an hour, I received a text from Orange asking me to call them to confirm that I'd initiated a transfer. I ignored this and have so far today received five calls from this number – 900900751. No one has been on the other end when I've answered them. I assume it's Orange, showing their customary efficiency.

In a recent survey, Spanish women were found to be the most stressed, if not in the world, at least in Europe. Assuming this is true, one wonders why but I assume it's this generation of Spanish women which is being asked to be both the ama of the house and one of the two breadwinners. Without much help from this generation of Spanish men. It reminded me of my lovely new (Madrileño) neighbours, Jacobo and Ester. The latter is, jokingly, called Estress by her husband. And I do hope they'll forgive me for telling you this . . . Anyway, this is what El Mundo said on the subject:- “Según la propia encuesta, tanto en los países más desfavorecidos como en los más ricos, las mujeres desempeñan varios papeles a la vez y esto es lo que contribuye a su estado de nervios.” More here.

I use Gmail and have always been impressed by their ability to stop 99.9% of spam getting through to my Inbox. So, it was ironic that the spam message their computer let through yesterday purported to be from Google.

Which, finally , reminds me that I received two invitations today:-
  1. You have $85,000USD in cash credit by the International Monetary Funds via western union [sic]. Confirm receipt with Full Name,Address,Tel,Occupation. Does anyone really fall for these? I guess they do.
  2. Dear Colin,

I would like to invite you to become a user of our service.

Let me explain.

My name is T G, I'm the Vice-president for social dating network xxxxxxxx.

Late last year, my partners and I launched a new social network for dating - xxxxxxx, we have a small and cohesive team, and we truly believe we make a good and useful product for our users. xxxxxxx's mission is to connect people looking for love, romance, friendship and marriage.

All of our team, including myself, as it always happens in startups, is engaged in the search for the users of our site.

Recently I have been surfing Facebook and found your profile, which says that you are Single and are looking for a woman. [Really? I didn't know that!]

Colin, I invite you to become our user. Registration takes just a couple of minutes, and since you have an account on Facebook, you can easily go down to our service using this account.
Our project is just six months old, but we have more than 130k likers on Facebook, and we are very proud of it, because it became possible only thanks to the good work of our service, and we are working very hard.

Colin, you are welcome to join us and become our user. Login using your Facebook account right now.

And if you are not interested, please excuse me for this letter. For its main purpose is to help two people become one, to find their soulmates, and to make the world better.

Good luck and best wishes,

T G,

I can't help wondering whether this is one of several reasons one shouldn't have a Facebook account. Or get rid of the one you've got.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

I was surprised to learn that Spanish women are stressed, but your explanation makes sense.

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