These are the things I've learned in the two days I've been back in Spain:-
- My bank - Citibank - has (re)introduced charges if you get cash from an ATM which is not in the network to which they belong. Actually, it's worse than that; there are charges if you use any bank branch not belonging to them, whether or not it's in the Servired network. And so it was that I was told there was a charge of 18 euros to take out cash of 600 euros this morning, an operation which I naturally aborted and then walked to the city's only Citibank branch. This is going to be very inconvenient but I wouldn't put it past Citibank to try to dress it up as an improvement in their customer service. Banks appear to be a law unto themselves all over the world.
- If you get notification of a registered letter (certificado) the postman tried to deliver when you were out/away, you need to get to the Post Office to collect it within 15 days. If not, you might find your self waiting, say, 25 minutes to be told this was a waste of time because they've sent the letter back to the sender.
- If you've bought a house and the seller fails to pay the notary for the document (escritura) proving the prior cancellation of his mortgage, you will end up having to pay for this. As if this wasn't bad enough, you'll also have to pay the Property Registry's fee for receiving this document and removing the reference to the (cancelled) mortgage in their records. Of course, you can take the seller to court to force him to comply with his legal obligations but this is not usually an attractive option in Spain.
- There's a material distinction in Spanish between saying of a woman Es buena, as opposed to Está buena. In English, these both mean "She's a good woman". However, if I've got this right, the former means She's kind, generous, simpatico, etc. While the latter means something like She's so fit I'd like to bed her. Or words to that effect.