Saturday, June 27, 2015

Decisive Rajoy; Banking Spanish-style; Hateful Spain; & Scotland.

Indecisive President Rajoy apparently can't even decide to be indecisive. Three days after he announced he didn't intend to make any further changes to his cabinet, he's summarily replaced his most unpopular minister, the one with the Education, Sports and Culture portfolio. The question remaining is whether his number 2 - coincidentally also his fiancée - will now go as well. Just before their wedding.

My bank was recently taken over by another. This has meant a great deal of paper-shuffling, letter-receiving, form-filling, (expired) ID-producing, photocopying, signature-giving and, of course, confusion-generating. Not to mention an inability to follow my instructions. So, having visited my former bank 2 days ago, yesterday I visited my new bank, where (inescapable) face-to-face discussion with a charming young lady finally got things together. Though I still don't know which of my old cards will function next week. As I said last week, it's one thing being retired here and having the time to do all this and it's another being at work and trying to do it by phone.

By the way . . . If you're used to the sparse banks of the UK - where just about everything is done by phone or the internet - you'd be shocked to see the 12 desks that dot the lobby of my bank - to deal with customers who wander in off the street with no appointment. All part of the (expensive) personal service that many Spaniards still demand. Especially if they can't use the internet.

I cited, the other day, the views of the chap who said he hated Spain. I demurred with his perspectives but I forgot to mention that it was surely relevant he lived in one of those parts of Spain which have been ruined by tourism and an influx of criminals. Here in Galicia, we only get tourists in July and August and they're 95% Spanish, fleeing the heat elsewhere. They don't vomit in the streets and they pay the same (low) tips as we do. So, the lesson is clear: if you want to speak English and eat "Good English Food" at 6pm, there's a real risk you'll end up hating Spain. But, as I say here, it won't really be Spain. And I'd hate it as well.

Finally . . . If you've any interest in Scotland, here's an article discussing what the Nats have (or haven't) done there since they came to power.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

My dear boy,

Is today's post not slightly contradictory? First you point out, quite eloquently, that the only way to get anything done in Spain is face-to-face with an employee (a statement with which I healthily agree). But next paragraph, you seem to be scandalized by banks having so many employees who cater to customers who understand that the only way of getting something done is face-to-face with an employee… Does it not make sense? Have you not gainsaid your own moral objection?

Oh, and as we're at it: who is the 'number 2' who is engaged to whom? Surely First Vice President Ms Soraya Saenz de Santa Maria is not engaged at present to PM Rajoy? Both happily married observant Catholics, last time I looked.


Colin Davies said...

1. Banks: I said 'You'd', meanng British visitors. Not me. I'm not shocked. Any more than you are. 'Shocking' is altogether another thing.

2: " his most unpopular minister, the one with the Education, Sports and Culture portfolio. The question remaining is whether his number 2 . . . will now GO AS WELL." Rajoy is not going, either with or withour anyone else.

Just fucking concentrate and read things properly, you old sot!

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