"Is Dubai the next Spain", asks the Daily Telegraph. "Britons" it says "are abandoning their place in the Spanish sun for countries with better work opportunities and more stable house prices – and the Middle East is one of several areas attracting growing numbers of emigrants". Dubai is said to rank no. 3 in the list of places offering a better quality of life, while Spain has sunk to a lowly no. 9. Click here for reasons why. Perhaps I should sell up now. Even if the Dubai government did pay for the article.
Flicking through an old notebook, I found this headline from a local paper - Man argues with customers in a bar, leaves, comes back dressed as a diver and fires a harpoon. Sadly, I can't recall anything about the article.
I also found this sentence from an El País editorial of a couple of months ago - on the attitude of the public towards corruption and the consequential (lack) of political will to do anything about it: If we can put our minds and actions together to reduce road deaths, why not the corruption which corrodes our country? The backcloth is a remarkable halving of road deaths in the last 10 years.
And this table. In each case the first number is 1914 and the second is 2014. So, a hundred years later, for the innumerate:-
Life expectancy: 43 years - 82 years
Fertility rate: 4.6 - 1.3
% of women active: 10 - 53
Maternal mortality per 100 births: 43 - 3
Average home size: 4.3 people - 2.6 people
Population: 20m - 47m
Troops: 225,000 - 123,000
In its desperate search to compensate for the wild spending of the Bum years, the Galician government has hit pensioners the hardest. Having, inter alia, imposed prescription charges on them, it's now announced that the next 3 years will see a pensions increase of only 0.25% a month. Or a measly €1.80. You wonder how they can sleep at night. Possibly because a mattress stuffed with cash is quite comfortable. And leaves no paper trail.
Spain is Different 10:
- My antipodean friend, Ian, insists there are more pillars in Spanish underground car-parks than anywhere else in the world. The scratches on the 4 corners of every car in the country would suggest he's right about this.
- The Spanish have weaker radar and few antennae than other people. This makes them less aware of others in their immediate vicinity. So it is that, whereas Brits start accommodating themselves to avoid someone coming the way when they are still 5 metres away, the Spanish will do nothing until both parties execute a Last Second Shuffle as they're about to crash into each other. I notice this most when I'm reading while walking and people coming the other way walk right into me. Yes, I know it's my fault but the case illustrates my point that the other person is totally unaware of my existence. Or expecting, until the last moment, that I will perform an LSS so as to avoid him/her.