Here's something from the Spanish Shilling that made me laugh out loud. Don't really know why:-
My Camino friends and I have been trying to book rail and bus tickets for June this year. It's been what the Spaniards call a calvario. Or perhaps even a pesadilla. Booking Renfe rail tickets from the UK costs an outrageous 10 quid per ticket. And trying to book bus tickets ran into the problem that each of my friend's credit cards was rejected at the end of the (repeated) long process. When I contacted the company here, they said it was because her cards weren't issued in Spain and so extra protection was needed via a digital fingerprint or something like that. So now I'm trying to book their bus journeys from here but keep getting an error message that's clearly wrong - Passenger number one doesn't have a seat allocation. None of this is doing anything for Spain's reputation. On the other hand, for journeys booked here in Spain, I've found Renfe's site perfectly OK - once you've deciphered all their little symbols and registered as a Renfe User. At least this means you don't have to fill in a form twice every time you make a booking. Though you do still need to provide your identity number every time. Just as my friends in the UK have had to provide passport numbers when booking (or trying to book) train and bus tickets in Spain. Why, for God's sake? I'm sure the bloody conductor/driver isn't going to ask for them. Do they go onto some central Interpol database perchance? Or just give the Spanish police the satisfaction that they can track guiris. Presupposing they gave accurate numbers.
Ain't it funny when your subconscious thinks it's the next day? Despite my conscious mind denying today was Sunday, I kept wondering why, for example, the cost of the paper was less than it normally is on a Sunday. And why it didn't have the Business Section. Not as bad as wondering why last night I couldn't get the score of tonight's Champions' League football match between Madrid's 2 football teams. And why the bars weren't full of fans.
A friend of my daughter's advises that, if Gibraltar is on page 1 of Spanish newspapers, one needs to look at, say, p.6 for the real news of the day. The news that the government doesn't really want to pay too much attention to. I must check. Meanwhile, from either Lenox or David Jackson comes this snippet:- Far from easing up on the border controls that cause long lines of traffic at the border between Gibraltar and Spain, the Spanish government is planning on increasing them. The Office for Diplomatic Information claims that “Britain has not adopted the necessary measures to fight smuggling,” and that, “unfortunately, cooperation by Gibraltarian authorities, far from improving, appears to be regressing." Of course. It's all the fault of those perfidious Anglos. Nothing to do with internal politics. And there's no smuggling in Spain. Least of all in Galicia.
There are 39 choices available to Spanish voters in tomorrow's pretty pointless and utterly boring EU elections. If you're a glutton for knowledge, the details are here, with a HT to Lenox.
Finally . . . Here's one Spaniard's take on his country's politicians, with which an awful lot of people would surely agree:- The Spanish politicians who are now asking citizens for their vote are the worst in Europe, judging by their mistakes and the damage to this country and its people. They have turned Spain into a landfill that only stands out internationally for its dirt and its dramas: the traffic and consumption of drugs, abortion, school failure, prostitution, money laundering, institutionalised corruption, unemployment, more poverty, privilege for the political caste, inequality, homelessness and the breakdown between citizens and their politicians. Faced with this situation, instead of asking forgiveness and resigning en masse for their failures and the havoc caused, they ask once again for your vote, as if it represented an award for and recognition of their dreadful work. To vote for any of the parties who are guilty of the Spanish Disaster, above all those who have ruled in recent years, is itself the realm of idiots and slaves.