In Spain, repeat prescriptions are dictated by a computer which tells the pharmacist when your medications can be dispensed. When I saw the doctor last week, we discussed an item which falls due in 2 days' time and he suggested I ask the pharmacist to bring it forward until yesterday, as I'm leaving for the UK today. The tacit assumption was that I'd have established with a pharmacist the all-important personal relationship which would allow rules to be broken. And, indeed, when I went to my regular pharmacy last week for something else, I was told there'd be no problem. But I went the other way into town yesterday and so had to try a place where I was unknown. Nothing doing, they apologetically insisted. The law was the law and they wouldn't risk prosecution from an unyielding bureaucracy. But they did say that, if I brought the box back after my return, they'd be able to do something. I'm not sure what. Unless it's to reimburse me the cost of medication I had to buy from them. Oddly, this is also illegal without a prescription.
It's not only here in Spain that you can be fined for a wide array of motoring fences. The British police also indulge in this questionable practice, as this newspaper article shows. Or, rather, they do in some other parts of the country. In others they don't. Details here.
Just in case you're wanting to buy Ken Loach's fine film set in the Spanish Civil War - Land and Freedom - don't bother with Amazon.co.uk, where it's 30 quid, but to Amazon.es. Here you can buy it for a mere €10 an Italian version that comes with the original soundtrack with Italian subtitles.
Finally . . . Benidorm is a name well-known to Brits. A fishing village just 40 or 50 years ago, it's now a massive tourist destination, particularly for lower cost holidays. More recently, it's become notorious for one of Spain's infamous temples to arrogance and vanity - The Intempo Building. Started at the top of the boom in 2007, it was scheduled for completion 6 years ago. Now, though, it may never be finished, as the finance has been pulled. Construction, while it lasted, was dogged by problems but, sadly, the reports that it didn't have a lift turned out to be false.