Friday, August 05, 2011

NOTE: This is a very early Friday post. Scroll down for Thursday's, if you haven't yet seen it. I insist.

I scarcely dare make a comment on Spain's economic situation, as it'll surely be overtaken by events before the ink is dry on it. But, anyway, here's AEP as of early this morning. Bad, bad, bad. I doubt that even reader Moscow could see anything positive in these developments.

And here's IberoSphere with their take on the elections that we'll have in November. If we make it that far. And haven't by then had a government imposed on us by the Brussels fascists. I say “we” but, as a letter-writer points out in El País today, us foreigners (EU citizens, even) may have been here ten years and we may pay lots of taxes but we're not given the vote. What, one is forced to ask, are they afraid of? Revolt among the cheated of Andalucia and Murcia? Hmm. Perhaps they're right. Wouldn't do to give even more disadvantaged the vote when Madrid is full of the domestic variety.

Conversation of the Day (by email)
Hola, Colin. We are an estate agents [realtor] in Pontevedra and we may have some clients for the house you're selling in Cotobade.
Hola. You can see the details of the house in the ads on my blog. Please send me details of your terms and conditions.
OK. We charge 3%. Have you included this in your price or do you want us to increase the price to reflect this?
. . . . . .

Yes, folks. That's it. In Spain, the only term and condition is the fee. No undertaking to do this or that, issue a brochure [joke], keep you informed [bigger joke], or anything else at all. To think that, in the UK, you get a vastly superior service for 1-2%. Though I suspect it's 6 or 7% in the USA. As it is for all the foreign agents acting for, say, unwitting Brits, in Galicia. Same inferior service, same economies with the truth, but more than twice the price. At least. But in English. There's one born every minute.

Some more Things That I Don't Yet Do that sprang to mind today:-
  • I don't ride my bike on the pavement and weave, at reckless speed, between the adults and the toddlers.
  • I don't ride a scooter which has had its noise suppressor removed.
  • I don't have parties that begin at midnight and go on to 5 or 6 in the morning.
  • I don't feed the bloody flying rats that plague the beautiful squares of the old quarter. Roll on the day I have my plastic decoy eagle owl to put on the edge of my table. Or a fatally-electric prod.
Which sort of reminds me . . . One of the victims of municipal belt-tightening has been the Hire-a-bike facility. Either that or all the bikes were stolen.

In my research on health food shops in Pontevedra, I've already come across six of them. For a city of 80,000. I wonder if this ratio is beaten even in California. In one of them yesterday, there was a bloody queue of 6 people. So I gave up on my curcuma and vainas de cardomomo. Another day. Life is too short. Especially at my age.

This is a foto of a street in central Pontevedra. 

It's not quite as big as the foto makes it seem but the real point is that 5 of the 8 shops in this street are boarded up. And the hotel has been knocked down, for conversion, no doubt, into another empty block of flats. That said. I think there's a new shop there – a travel agent. However, I suspect that these spring up in July and close in August, to deal with those Spaniards (about 98% of them) who take their summer holiday decisions at the last minute.

And here's a snap of a guy with a strimmer working on what, I assure you, is a virtually vertical slope above the pavement. During the rain. In wellington boots. Health & Safety? What's that, coño?

Finally . . . More on granite, but in the context of architecture.

Here's a beautifully restored facade, partly ruined by what's been done above and beside it.

And here's the metallic monstrosity next along from these two buildings. Of which the architect should be hung, drawn and quartered. Especially if his name is Portela.

But, to be positive again, here's a new garden where there used to be a mud flat used as a car park. Shame that the granite rocks are encased in chicken wire. Perhaps some economies were necessary between plan and execution.

By the way, I've still not seen anyone go into the new restaurant on the ground floor of the first building in this little series.


Candide said...

Oh, the real estate matter.

Some years ago I had a flat for sale. The agent said he would take 5% (as: added to my price). Soon he called me and had set up a meeting with a prospective buyer, who had already seen the flat and wanted it.

At the meeting the agent set out the conditions again. Something was wrong. "Wait a second", I said," you told me you would charge 5%, but what I see here is, what, some 7%." Arguing between the agent and me went on for a couple of minutes until the prospective buyer stepped in.

With more than a hint of disdain she said: "Why does this interest you so much? I am willing to pay! This is my problem."

So I turned to my left, fully facing her, and said: "Lady, it's my flat, and I'm not going to sell it to you."

I walked away from her and the real estate agency and sold the flat without any assistance after a few weeks and with no loss.

Sierra said...

Rocks in mesh = gabions(from Italian gabbione meaning "big cage"). A relatively easy way of providing a rock retaining wall without heavy lifting equipment, as you can assemble the cages and fill them with small rocks, rather than bringing in a large crane to lift large pieces. Cheaper.

Eugenia said...

I want a plastic decoy eagle owl! Where can I get one? I have a nice spot in mind in South East London.... Around where some particular locals of that domain do the same bloody thing!

Colin said...

Will let you know!

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