Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Tour of Spain; More mobile phone madness; Bank bewilderment; and Some more Spanish.

Well, I did get to see the Tour of Spain cyclists flash past yesterday, in a little place between Pontevedra and Sanxenxo. My friends and I had been sure the police would close off the road well before the race but, in the event, they finally did so with only minutes to go. As a result, cars and even buses, were coming along the main road or turning into it from side roads until the very last moment, to be urgently pushed onto the verges by one of the 50 plus Guárdia Civil motorcyclists in attendance, most of whom seemed to have little to do but speed up and down the highway. Or perhaps there were only 10 of them, driving in circles. Of the Guárdia Civil vans, there were fewer than 20, though the occupants of these didn't seem to be doing anything at all. Perhaps there was concern about a possible terrorist attack. Anyway, it was disappointing there was no live coverage on either Spanish or Galician TV and that the highlights program on British TV last night started with only 50km to go and so omitted views of both Vigo and Pontevedra.

Yesterday, after a week off, I resumed my mobile phone calvario. Having learnt it would cost me 25 euros to liberate my phone and keep my number, I went back to Movistar(Telefónica) to see whether it'd be quicker/easier just to get a new number and a new phone from them. This was my 7th visit, including one when I couldn't wait more than 20 minutes and one when I foolishly poled up on a national holiday and found them closed. There was no one in the place when I entered but a young lady appeared when the phone rang.
Buenos días.
[3 minutes of shuffling papers and talking to someone on the phone]
Yes. What can I do for you?
Is Ana not here?
No. She's on holiday.
OK. I spoke to her about changing my phone to Movistar.
Which package did you talk about? The X euros package or the Y euros package?
Neither, it was the Z euros package. But the problem was that I needed to liberate my phone and this wasn't possible with Yoigo because Movistar had cancelled my contract with them. So now I have to liberate my phone myself and this will cost me 25 euros. So I was thinking about just getting a new number and a new phone from you instead and wonder what models you have for 25 euros.
[Consulting a chart] Nothing. The cheapest phone we have is 40 euros.
But it says here in your brochure that you have this model for 25 euros with the Z package.
Maybe but they don't send it to us anymore.
Right. So I'll have to go and get this phone liberated and come back again.

I didn't, of course, get the phone liberated today, as the shop was full and there were 4 people waiting outside it. But I live to fight another day.

Talking about shops . . . Walking through one of Pontevedra's galerías yesterday, I came upon 3 jewellers shops additional to the 18 I snapped before Xmas, all in a row. I can't swear to it but I suspect they're new. As is the fruit-shop-cum-deli in the same galería. Which I don't expect to survive. The jewellers - being possibly laundering establishments - surely all will.

I also went to my bank to ask about the strange message I'd got telling me €0.00 had been charged to my credit card. The lovely Susana advised me there was no evidence of this is my account, adding that the bank now routinely sent these messages for internet purchases. Which left me none the wiser really.

But my morning was not a complete disaster; I managed to get the batteries I needed for a torch,

Finally . . . 3 millas a poniente y 2 millas a levante. '3 miles to the setting and 2 miles to the rising'. Or '3 miles to the west and 2 to the east.'

Erratum: Apologies, I missed at least one item from the list of Spanish institutions yesterday. The Archbishops came in at only 21%, which compares very badly with parish priests at 52%. One wonders why?

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