Spanish Banks: During the carpetbagger years of the euro-driven phoney economic boom of 2000-2007, bank branches sprouted like the proverbial weeds. And each of these was employee-heavy, in line with the Spanish preference for doing things face-to-face. Even in the Age of the Internet. Since then, of course, things have gone in reverse and the slimmed-down banks have gone back to charging you for everything except breathing on their premises. I had to laugh, almost, last night when the ATM screen of my bank told me my cash withdrawal was free and then added that the operator of the machine - i. e. my bank - would be charging me 60 centimos for using it. Worth millions of pure profit a year, of course.
The Spanish and Risk: I mentioned the more pragmatic attitude here the other day. But also the occasional catastrophe which results from it. Here's the fence along the walkway down to the gardens in my comunidad, used by lots of kids. It's been like this for ages. And the drop is 6m down to solid concrete. One reason for the lack of action, I suspect, is that suing folk for negligence is not really a great option here. You could be as dead as your child before the verdict comes down,
Fires: It's turning out to be a very bad year for these here in Galicia, though not yet at the level of our annus horribilis, 2006. Here's the smokey scene of a couple of days ago:-
The white specks among the smoke are planes carrying water scooped up from our ría, or estuary.
And here's this morning's sun, rising amid the smoke from the night's fires:-
The occurrence of fires is always accompanied by a wide gamut of theories as to their cause. Among these is deliberate fire-starting by people with an equally wide range of attributed motives. Yesterday's papers offered evidence of artefacts found in 3 spots close to each other on one of our mountains. But who really knows? That said, I doubt they're started by narcotraficos who want to distract the Guardia Civil from their marine activities.
Words: Sky News is fond of the phrase: Police believe that there could be more . . . Surely this should either be:
Police say there could be more . . .
Police believe there are more . . .
Otherwise it's tautologous.
Finally . . . One of my few remaining bête noires about life in Spain . . . Leaving 1- 2 metres between your car and the next one, depriving others of a parking space. Like this:-
I actually watched this guy park, without the slightest attempt to place his car behind the one in front of his. Ironically, he then walked down the slope, past the grey car:-
I'm about to offer all my neighbours fotographic evidence of just how often they do this - forcing me to park in el bloody quinto pino.
The arrival on our alameda of the stalls which accompany the fairground in the street alongside it. The closure of which causes the chaos I mentioned the other day:-
And here are some of the Itineranta who spiced up our streets during the evenings this week:-