Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Movistar - The End?; Bills and discounts; Rocks, here and there; Daughters; and Corpsing.

Well, I made my 9th trip to the Movistar office yesterday morning and it wasn't a great success. The first problem was that the young lady who'd promised the day before to sort out my contract had gone off on holiday. Something which she'd somehow neglected to tell me when masquerading as a helpful shop assistant. Secondly, there were 2 customers ahead of me and the first of these took up the entire half hour I'd allocated for this challenge, ahead of a train trip to Vigo. So, I wrote a note and left it with Ana, the young woman I'd originally dealt with. And I told her I'd be back today. But all's well that ends well, they claim. Mid afternoon, I got a text message saying my landline and mobile had been fused. So, I now wait to see what the first bill demands - €45 or €35. I say 'demands' but this is to suggest I've a choice as to whether to pay the bill or not. In practice, here in Spain, you get your bills after the amounts have been charged to your account via direct debits. Against that, you have 2 weeks to reject the payment. Assuming your bill arrives within that period.

Talking of bills . . . I went next door last night to have a beer and to ask Ester whether their electricity bill had shown the same increase mine had this month. It turns out they pay 20% less per unit than I do, because they're a 'numerous' family, of 5 members. This discount - like the family allowance in the UK - takes no account of income. Meaning I (and others, of course) are subsidising people far better off than me. I think I'll start adopting kids. Or at least claim my daughters and nieces are all living with me. Though I fear I'll immediately hit the problem of not having all their personal histories in a Family Book. Another essential document for getting through life in paper-mad Spain.

By the way, I also discovered that Ester get a discount at Carrefour (all supermarkets?) because she has a large' family. She offered to include my shopping with hers but I had to tell her I avoided Carrefour like the proverbial plague. Or, at least, I have until now.

Gibraltar: Fellow blogger-mucker, Trebots, has commented:- Ignoring the electorate at large, I don't get why the interests of a small number of fishermen should prevail over those of quite a large number of Spanish employees in Gib. Quite. Especially as I've seen it claimed a few times - perhaps only by the Gib government - that there was only one fisherman affected. Whom they regarded as an illegal operator anyway.

Talking of rocks . . . Spain is also having trouble with another one, this time of Portuguese ownership. More accurately, with a couple of islands which Spain would like to be regarded as mere rocks. Spain is anxious to prevent Portugal establishing sovereignty over waters up to 200 miles from the islands. Presumably this wouldn't be a good precedent vis-a-vis Gib. More here.

Years ago, I heard that peak viewing time in Spain was 12.30am. I've always sort of believed this, while harbouring some doubts it could be this late. But here's an article which adds support to the claim. And it introduces me to an eminently sensible group of Spaniards called The National Commission for the Rationalization of Spanish Working Hours. Or ARHOE in the local acronym. All strength to their elbow(s).

A brief conversation with my younger daughter last night:
So, what are you reading, Dad?
A very interesting book on the formation of the brain.
You've taken non-fiction to a new low. I'm already falling asleep.
What do you mean? You're such a philistine.
Well, who's interested in the life history of grain?

Finally . . . If you don't laugh at this, you might as well give up now.


Diego said...

That two week rejection period on bills has been upped to two months,so you can take it a little easier. There´s talk about increasing it to a full year.
Here´s the thing, the banks hold 50% of the amount in for the whole two months, that makes me a small business owner not very happy for the duration. Imagine if they go with the full year plan.

Perry said...


Re the solitary angler of La Línea de la Concepción (or is he hooking across from Algeciras?), the Spanish Government are of the opinion that the facts should not get in the way of propaganda. And why not? Bread & circuses kept the Roman plebs quiet for hundreds of years.

Obama thinks the American people will rise up against him, but his response is to authorise the DHS to purchase 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition (including hollow points) plus 2,700 MRAPs.

The first time I visited Spain was August 1960. My parents, younger brother & I travelled to Sitges by train. It took 36 very enjoyable hours (for me) & it was a wonderful 20 days. We had prepared ourselves by reading all the travel books in the library, so that the lack of butter in the breakfast boccadillos at Port Bou was expected, as would have been the necessity to purchase single sheets of toilet paper from the concierge (5 centimos) in the foyer of the toilets in Barcelona, if we had not packed our own. That was Spain then; something different.

Thereafter, Gitano Flamenco Pur seeped into my blood & that enjoyment remains with me today.

Yesterday, I happened upon the 1993 documentary Latcho Drom by Tony Gatlif. It features Gypsy music from India, Egypt, the Balkans, France & Spain & traces the history of Flamenco without words. Here's the link.

Another tremendous film is Vengo, which uses Flameco to tell a story as old as time itself. the opening scenes explore the links between Sulfism & Flamenco



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