Another thought on the revenue-raising capacity of the police – If they do as I suggest and station themselves down by the roundabout to catch all those drivers using a mobile phone, they can also collar all the imbeciles who – for no benefit to themselves - block my access to the roundabout and the bridge into town. By the end of the year, they'll have enough to pay off the entire national debt. By the way, during 40 years of driving in other countries before I came here, I garnered not a single fine. I was stopped for speeding once in both the UK and the US and given a gentle warning. Contrast the situation here, where I've picked up 7 fines in less than 10 years. I once wrote that the only way to avoid speeding fines here in Spain was to drive everywhere at 50kph. I would add now that the only way to make sure you don't end up paying 'road taxes' is to stay off the roads. I wonder when they'll start policing the ridiculous 30kph(19mph) limit on the road to and from the roundabout. Possibly never, as we have a judge living here.
Sticking with driving – I read somewhere an expert's view of the 5 biggest errors committed by Spanish drivers. The worst was said to be not driving through a roundabout correctly. As I've said a couple of times, the crazy Spanish law is that everyone who isn't making a U-turn has to funnel into the outer lane, even if they're leaving via, say, the 5th exit. This, I suspect, is another example of Spain being 'different'. And it's not only foreigners who are confused.
I had lunch today with my friend Fran, an Anglophile, a Liverpool-phile (in every sense) and the driving force behind Los Porcos Bravos, a football team who play against the Sheffield Stags twice a year for the Anglo-Galician Cup. We covered a lot of ground but were firmly in agreement on one item – someone needs to write at least a dissertation on the similarities (and differences) between Scouse and Galician humour. I fear it will have to be me.
I saw a bit of the Thatcher cortege. What impressed me most was the sight of policemen dressed as they used to be, without the swathes of protective clothing and the 20 bits of equipment they sport nowadays. They looked very slim. And vulnerable.
Telefonica called me this evening, ostensibly to ask how satisfied I was with their services but really to sell me their new Fusión package. I told the lady I wasn't satisfied with the low internet download speed and she said that there was nothing they could do as 1 mega was the max in my barrio. As if that were a proper answer, since the remedy's in their hands. Anyway, when I got off the phone and tried to test the speed, it was so low I couldn't get the relevant page. When I did, it (eventually) registered the ludicrous speed of 71kbps. I was tempted to try and get her back on the phone.
Finally . . .
Governments have done far more to curb concealed movements of workers across borders than concealed movement of corporate money.
[On religion] Who expects a person to be reasoned out of something they were not reasoned into?
Who would have thought, in 1989, that the eastern half of Europe would survive a financial storm better than the western half?