Friday, July 01, 2011

Well, tomorrow it'll be two weeks since Vodafone told me it'd take six days to arrange the move from Orange to them. Good job my expectations were low. And that I already have a line.

Which reminds me . . . My elder daughter's partner – the one who plays the fearsome bandolión – wanted a simple phone from Orange for his business calls. The girl in the shop offered him one that didn't have internet capability but then tried to sell him a package which included internet access. Incidentally, I was going to include the adjective 'expensive' in that last sentence but it's superfluous, of course. All internet packages are expensive in Spain.

Así son las cosas . . . Today I had two of those failures which are an integral part of life here in Spain. Firstly, I couldn't complete the process of advertising my country cottage on Idealista as Orange told me the mobile number to which I'd been told to send the message “confirmar” was blocked by the company. And then I couldn't find out what points I've lost on my driving licence as Trafico's computer insisted I didn't exist. And this time it wasn't a question of which of my three names they regarded as my “first surname”. The details required were my identity number and the date of the start of my licence. No scope for mistakes there, you wouldn't have thought.

And talking of how things are in Spain, I was intrigued to read this paragraph today:- “Spain has passed a decree making government spending dependent on the health of the economy. The Cabinet recommended that Spain's semi-autonomous regional governments do the same but it cannot order them to do so.” And this is despite the fact that “Deficit spending by some regions has become a source of concern as Spain tries to reduce borrowing and allay fears it might join Greece, Ireland and Portugal in needing a bailout.” As I've said on a number of occasions, who'd be the Spanish President?

Which reminds me . . . For some reason, I recalled today Sr Zapatero's boast of three years or so ago that Spaniards were already richer than Italians and would pass the Germans by 2012. The statement was a nonsense when it was made and now looks shamefully ridiculous. The really worrying thing, though, is that Sr Z had no no notion of how phony Spain's boom was and that he really believed what he was saying. More than time for him to go.

Anyway, I don't know whether La Crisis is the reason but there does seem more of this sort of report around these days:-
  1. The people who collect money on behalf of artists and musicians from those playing their tunes appear not to have been passing the money along for several years. A figure of 400 million euros has been cited but this looks improbable to me. Whatever, you'd have thought some of the artists might have noticed.
  2. An operation down in Andalucia which received a million euros a year to rear and release rare birds of prey has been buying eggs and chicks from nest-stealers for around eight years, so they could stay in business and maintain the subsidy. At a cost of 18,000 euros a chick in some cases, it's reported.
So, the mob now thinks that DSK is not guilty and the hotel maid is less-than-innocent. Which is strange, as the common ground between the prosecution and the defence is that a 'sex act' (newspaper-ese for fellatio) was performed and that violence was involved. What's the bet that the next turn in this saga is that DSK counter-accuses the maid of violation of his person? Or part of it anyway.

Finally . . . Idealista reported this week that prices of the properties advertised by them fell by around 8% a square metre in the first quarter of the year. Except in the two poorest regions of Spain – Estremadura and Galicia. In these prices rose a tad. Evidence of the (in)famous stubborness of the Gallegos??


Sierra said...

Have the same problem with the Trafico site - doesn't seem to like "foreigner's" NIE numbers

Mike the Traditionalist said...

I tried Fenosa (electric company/hyrdro) a few times to register so I could see my bill on line but it doesn't recognize my NIE and not even my customer reference number. Had internet access to my bank account but have to renew it by mobile phone which I don't have so have dumped that one as well. Have tried to buy several articles on the internet from companies here in Spain but come up against same problem. System can't accept NIE. You can register on Carrefour and El Corte Ingles with no trouble at all and buy things! Why do I have to give my date of birth and NIE to buy something when my debit card takes care of everything for validation. In fact it goes through two system checks. I usually buy from UK firms as there is not much difference in delivery charges. Do you get a birthday card from the Spanish firms I wonder?

Colin said...

Ah, more of the mysteries of life here in Spain. Thanks, Mike.

I never do anything on the phone or net with my bank. I just go to my branch and demand that my very own "personal assistant" does it all.

tim said...

SAGE the people who collect author rights money from the various public spaces that play music are infamous for things I should be careful not to mention.... For example, they demanded 300€ a month for playing music in a cafe bar and on negotiation at their offices quoting friends at the town hall we pay nearly 80% less... They just pluck a figure from nowhere and see how you react.

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