So, up to Pontecaldelas this morning, to get official evidence of my sale of the property on which the city is trying to tax me. While the girl at Reception printed me off a copy of the Escritura de CompraVenta (7 euros), this is how our chat went:-
Is there a document which you sent to the Catastro that I can have a copy of?
No. The only thing we send is the Escritura. We do it routinely.
Yes, I thought so. So, why haven't they registered the change of ownership? It seems strange to me.
Yes, strange but not that odd. It happens frequently. But we've no idea why.
So, I have to go back to the Catastro in Pontevedra and give them a copy of the Escritura you've just given me.
Is there any other way I can tackle this problem?
Thanks. Here's the 7 euros.
My return to the Catastro on Monday will be the fourth office I've visited to solve this simple problem. You might wonder why it arose in the first place and whether it could be addressed by phone or snail-mail. But you wouldn't if you'd lived here for 12 years. Or even 12 months. Though you might have concluded that, if you don't have the time and the understanding of Spanish I have, you'd we well advised to give the problem to a gestor – an animal that doesn't exist, I suspect, outside the Hispanic world and which came into (profitable) being because of the bureaucratic nightmare that is Spain at times. Though not when it comes time to make your income tax return. Odd, that.
Our city council has announced it's going to reduce the number of lanes on our biggest bridge from four to three, turning the remaining one into a pedestrian and cyclist lane. So it's official, cyclists are not only allowed to use pedestrian walkways but compelled to.
Smack on time comes a report from Nigrán, down past Vigo, where the council has installed many miles of dedicated cycle lanes, alongside the main road. Cyclists are not satisfied. In fact, they're up in arms, claiming that the lanes are dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians. 'Too narrow', they say. With reflectors in the tarmac which are bound to cause accidents. Not to mention all the obstacles with which the lanes are strewn – large rubbish containers and bus-stops, for example. And an absence of signage. I dunno; some people are never happy.
Here's an Economist guide to measures being taken by the European Central Bank, finally acting like a true central bank, to secure the future of the EU's weakest economies and, thus, to save the euro. With or without Greece. This was published a week ago but it hasn't really been overtaken by the events of the past few days. There's bound to be another article in the latest Economist but I won't see this until some time next week. If ever. I like the point that the more the ECB does to safeguard the eurozone in the short term – reducing the fear of collapse - the less incentives the politicians have to make the substantive changes that would safeguard its long term future. Presupposing it has one.
I keep preaching the quality of Galicia's 'new' white wine, Godello. See here for a professional view. I stress that I am not responsible for the pun in the last line.
Just as I was writing this, a youngish woman touched me on the shoulder and smiled at me. I had no idea who she was and with blushing face, had to ask her to remind me. She turned out to be one of the waitresses from the Siglo, my old watering hole. I apologised profusely and stressed I'd never seen her with her hair down or with the large tattoo on her shoulder. She was nice enough to forgive me.
And now I've just been tapped on the shoulder again. But this time by a younger, (even) more attractive woman. But at least I did recognise her, the daughter of the owner of my favourite tapas bar. What with all these challenges, it's a tough life.
Talking of which . . .
Finally . . . More women. Here are ten fotos I've taken of women in their 20, 30s or 40s, to Illustrate the phenomenon of the 16/20, 16/30 and 16/40. That is, women who look 16 from behind, etc., etc. I would defy you to guess the correct age of any of them.
Anyway, this research is now at an end. Even though it's been very useful in giving me a shortlist of a hundred young women for the town's Briefest Shorts of the Summer contest.