Monday, October 07, 2013

The Police; Criminal curiosity; Rumanians; Health cards; and Bloody Telefonica.

I mentioned yesterday that the police are revelling in their enhanced Revenue role but I should have said 'polices'. For, as you contemplate driving or even walking with more than a few millimetres of alcohol in your blood, you have to contend with at least 3 watchful police forces - the municipal, the provincial and the national Guárdia Civil. For all I know, there may well be a fourth - the regional police. Whether all of these have the same rights of arrest, I wouldn't know.

I mentioned that, here in Spain, there seems to be no constraint/restraint on what can be said in the media on a murder case, specifically one centring on the death of an adopted Chinese girl universally thought (it seems) to have been suffocated by her Galician parents because she was in line to inherit her grandparents' wealth. Things have even reached the point where one of the local newspapers ran a column on which TV station had won the 'morbid curiosity' battle in the ratings war on the subject. Only in Spain?

I mentioned Rumanians the other day, in the context of break-ins into cigarette shops. Vistas have now been expanded with the murder of a 72 year old man in Ourense by an 18 year old Rumanian prostitute who then set fire to his house. Is it any wonder they're gaining a reputation even worse than that suffered by gypsies? But, anyway, it'll be interesting to see what she pleads. One thing's for sure, the media will keep us informed of her every putative thought and action.

It's good news to hear that the government is planning to replace 17 regional health cards with a single card, meaning that I won't ever again suffer the scorn I experienced when trying to use my Galician card in a Madrid pharmacy. The bad news is that it'll take 5 years to bring this goal to fruition. The worse new is that they started on this task over 10 years ago. So, which will arrive first - the national health card or the Galician AVE high-speed train? Who knows?

I missed a trick at yesterday's flea market in Veggie square; As I was looking at some stuff on the ground, a woman looked up from her kneeling position and asked me if I was the seller. Stupidly, I said No. As opposed to "Yes. How much are you thinking of paying for that?" Next time.

I read yesterday that "The Guinness Book of Records" was an instant success when it first came out in the 50s. In fact, it ranks no. 2 in the non-fiction category after The Bible. I don't know about you but I have some difficulty regarding The Bible as non-fiction. But I guess it's inevitable that many others differ with me on this.

Can I believe what happened last evening? I guess I can. Having discovered that my mobile phone provider (Telefónica!) won't permit me to call or send message overseas, I called the customer services number. On the inevitable crap line you get when you speak to phone companies, I dealt with 4 people, each of whom wanted my name and both phone numbers. The last 2 wanted my ID number as well. The 3rd of these told me the problem was that this restriction was placed on all new contracts but she couldn't explain why no one had bothered to tell me this. She said it would be lifted but couldn't say when. She handed me over to the 4th person, who - on the worst line of all - said something or other that I couldn't make out. When I asked her to repeat it, the line went dead. Possibly coincidentally. At the start of this via de cruces I was told I'd be asked to rate the quality of this service at the end of the call. Sadly, I wasn't. And, needless to say, the bar hasn't been lifted yet. Final word - I could find nothing about this is the contract I signed. Though, I did find out why I no longer receive paper bills.

Finally . . . I'm heading down into Portugal this morning for a mini-camino('pilgrimage'). I'll be walking the wrong way - south - for at least some of the way and it'll be interesting to see how many normal pilgrims or locals feel obliged to tell me this. From a previous walk, I have the perfect answer - "I'm walking to Fatima". Posts will appear as and when I can get an internet connection. Hopefully each morning, but Que sera, sera.


Diego said...

When dealing with Telefonica, if you get to the rating part of the call give them the lowest possible score. The system will transfer you to a different operator, this one is their last resort and generally better than the others. You know, piss you off to the limit and at the last possible moment help you.

Colin said...

Excellent summary if their approach. And always on bad lines. Hard to credit.

Willfollow your advice next time.

paideleo said...

Vas pasar por diante do meu traballo no Porriño.
Boa pelerinaxe !.

Alberto MdH said...

Is it any wonder they're gaining a reputation even worse than that suffered by gypsies?

In all honesty (and risking to sound racist) it must be said that most of the Romanians who commit these crimes are also gypsies.

Perry said...

Don't forget the Indian, Egyptian, Turkish, Hungarian, Slovakian & French gypsies as portrayed by Tony Gatliff.

Then there are

Susana en el país de la potica said...

I've just found your blog. It's always interesting to read about my home land from a foreigner's point of view as I'm a Galician living abroad.
Good luck!

Colin Davies said...

Hi, Susana. And Welcome. Thanks for writing. I hope you continue to read my blog.