With all sorts of mystifying things happening around my new car, hob and bathroom scales, I decided to start simple and read the slim guide for the latter. Bad choice. Naturally, it was made in China and the instructions are in Chinglish. For example – Fat% is an index of % fat content in human body. The fat content of a body is of a certain level, overabundance of fat will bring bad effects on metabolism, thereby, various illnesses may invade. Here goes an old saying “Obesity is hotbed of illness”. So, I think I'll leave the scales for now – especially as they give me one more kilo than my existing set – and start on the car manual. Tomorrow.
Talking of indecipherability . . . I see my electricity bills are now in a revised form. I wouldn't have thought it possible but it's even more difficult to interpret than before. And I don't believe that's an accident. I have set aside a day next week to try to make sense of it.
Doubtless with a view to generating more revenue, the Pontevedra council has conducted an initial survey of properties in the town and identified several hundred which are illegal. Specifically, they're registered in the land registry (the Registro) but not in the town register (the Catastro). This means they've been avoiding the annual property tax, the IBI. Some of them for 25 years. And one of these is an office block owned by the provincial government. Another is an old folks' home of many years standing. And one of the town's health centres is on the books as an empty plot. The council says it expects to find many more delinquent properties. I'm sure it will but what I can't understand is how it all happened in the first place. The staff of the Pontevedra Catastro and the Registro occupy the same building. In fact, they're on the same floor, facing each other on either side of the waiting area. I guess we'll never know whether it was all conscious fraud or just a normal bureaucratic cock up.
I've mentioned that Pontevedra has four different tourist offices, each of which acts independently of the others. And now they're to be joined by a fifth. This one will be dedicated to international tourism and will be charged initially with bringing more Russians here. Spain as a whole saw a 38% increase in Russian tourists this year but here in Galicia the total must still be around nil. I wish them well despite knowing that real success in bringing foreign tourists here will ruin the place for us residents. For example by upping tips from 0-5% to 10% or more. I'll feel better if reader Moscow assures me Russians are poor tippers.
It was good to see the right-of-centre El Mundo laying into the court which found the pharmacist not guilty of sexual harassment, despite his indulging in practices against his two staff which any sensible person would regard as harassment.
In Vigo a while back, a piece of a balustrade fell into the street, severely injuring a baby in a stroller. Legal action against council employees and maintenance contractors has just begun, a mere four years after the incident took place. If this is typical of Spanish justice, it's no wonder that Spaniards have little respect for it. I guess it's possible the child will be in secondary school before the process is complete.
Changing Spain: In Lugo last week, a magistrate ruled that fairground stall-holders should lower their bawling volume after the early-for-Spain hour of 10pm. Especially the guys on the jamón tombola stall. Who really do make a racket
Finally . . . When we went up to see the 7-a-side match last Sunday, we noticed the ground was in United Kingdom Street and that we approached it via Ireland St. So, I wonder if there's a Bosnia and Herzegovina St. And even a Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia St. I must check.