Note: This is an early post. There was one last night and there'll be another later today. Unless I kill myself.
I'm writing this under a pale sun in Vegetables Square, where I'm awaiting the glass of wine I desperately need, before lunching with my American friend, Dwight, and his visitor from Cuba.
Why am I so desperate for a drink? Press on, dear reader . . .
Another visit – my fourth – to the Land Registry this morning. And yet another failure. Three reasons:- 1. They don't accept payment by credit or debit card, only cash; 2. the clerk couldn't explain how on earth they'd arrived at the base of 620,000 euros for the calculation of their large fee - a valuation of my house which is six times what it was when I bought it. Not double, not triple, not quadruple, not quintuple but whatever the word is. Sextuple?; and 3. the Registrar wouldn't be able to answer my queries as she was out having a coffee. The clerk asked me to wait twenty or thirty minutes. I said there was no point as I didn't have 550 euros in cash on me. So I'd come back tomorrow and talk to the Registrar then. OK, she said, “But try to come in a bit earlier to that you catch here before she goes off for her coffee.” I despair. Which century are we in?
Another visit to Vodafone. My sixth? And yet another failure. Or maybe it was a success. You choose.
Phase 1: The guy I speak to says he knows nothing and I need to speak to his colleague.
Phase 2: I wait ten minutes while his colleague deals with three young women.
Phase 3: The woman I've dealt with on my previous visits tells me she needs to talk to me about my application as she was basically misinformed by Head Office about Option XS6. Turns out – as I've long suspected – that, if my consumption arises above the minimum of 9 euros, the total will be added to the quota of 6 euros. Something which she has previously denied thrice. I ask her why it's taken three weeks and a visit from me for her to tell me this. She tells me she's left a message on my answerphone. I look sceptical but continue listening as she tells me that perhaps Option XS8 is the one I really need. Wearily, I take the July brochure, telling her I'll return one day. And maybe I will.
Second visit to the herbolaria near the Peregrina chapel.
So, did you find the coriander seeds?
No. They haven't brought us them. But they will today. Call in again tomorrow.
A third failure, then.
And while I'm on this theme . . . I am, of course, delighted I can get free internet down under the parasols here in Vegetables Square. But I'm beginning to get a little bit more than irritated that, whatever I'm doing at the time, access is cut after 20 minutes, every single time. As it just has been. This can't be an accident and I guess it's to stop people staying on line when they're not using the service. But surely they could find a more consumer-friendly way of doing it than this. Or perhaps not. This is Spain after all.
BUT . . .This morning was not a complete disaster. To be very honest, it was a pretty normal day at the office, when it comes to my expeditions into town. And there was one success; I made a reservation for some friends in Hotel Ruas, here on the corner of Vegetables Square. With luck, it'll still be in the book when they check in. To end on a positive note . . . I highly recommend the place. If only because it gave me my morning's only incontrovertible success.
Reader Moscow is wont to tell me that the UK is going down the pan and that Spain will export/work her way out of her current mess. I beg to differ and will touch on this tonight. In a nutshell, after mornings like this, I can understand why all my expat friends in business here spit blood so often. Much as I love living here as a retiree, I wouldn't survive a day if I had to earn my keep here. Or, rather, I would but much of the rest of my life would be in gaol.
And now for that drink!