Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 22.9.16

LIFE IN SPAIN

Drivers: I listed in this post the 3 things drivers do here on zebra crossings as they flash past you. Today, I was reminded of a 4th. They glare at you as if you're at fault for daring to hazard the crossing. This reminded me that I'd been tempted to blow my horn at - or even say something to - the driver cited in this post yesterday. But I didn't bother as I was sure she'd simply stare angrily – or even shout - at me for having the effrontery and bad manners to take objection to her selfish act.

The Tax Office: I cited here my saga with these people. As you know, I paid a surcharge on the deadline date advised by the clerk in the Hacienda. But 3 days ago – i e after the deadline date – I received a reminder to pay. And today I received notice that I've been fined €350 for not paying the surcharge. In other words, even though the letter is dated 6 days after I paid it, they don't recognise my payment. What actually makes this all the more incredible is that 6 days ago I received a repeat of the original notification of the surcharge dated 29 July, on the grounds the first letter had been returned to them. They certainly are efficient at being inefficient. And showing, once again, that bureaucracy and paperwork are two of the main stamps of Spain. Now I'll have to appeal and so engender more paperwork. Hey, ho. And this is only the first of my 3 late Modelo 720 submissions!

Banco Popular: On my nth trip to the bank on Monday - to make the simple transfer I couldn't do on the net - the woman asked me why I didn't put some money into one of their investment funds. I replied, with a smile, that I was risk averse and, on top of that, I didn't have much faith in the bank's future. The next day, it was reported in all the media that Banco Popular will be closing 300(15%) of its branches and sacking 3,000 staff in its desperate quest for profitability. If they let go the lovely ladies who used to work with Citibank, this will give me the stimulus I need to change banks.

SPANISH SOCIETY

Expat Living: To my surprise, Spain doesn't figure in this Top Ten of destinations for expats:-
  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Canada
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Switzerland
  6. Norway
  7. Austria
  8. Sweden
  9. Bahrain
  10. Germany
But, along with New Zealand, Spain did come top for quality of life, culture and integration. Reportedly, nearly 75% of expats in Spain enjoy immersing themselves in local culture. I'm guessing this means bar crawling on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

THE SPANISH ECONOMY

As reported earlier, though Spain hasn't been fined for its perennial failure to balance its budget, the EU - in the form of merchant banker Juncker - is continuing to threaten she won't get the funds and subventions she's expecting. Well, we'll see.

SPANISH POLITICS

At the 71st United Nations General Assembly, Spain identified its priorities as: Working on international peace, migration and humanitarian challenges, human rights, sustainable development;  on the election of a new Secretary General; and on UN reform. Oh, plus ending British sovereignty of Gibraltar. Which so obviously ranks at the same level. At least for Spain's pugnacious Foreign Minister, Motormouth Margallo. Doubtless Melilla and Ceuta - Spain's enclaves (Not colonies!) in North Africa - will be discussed as the same time

THE EU AND THE UK

A nice article here.

ELSEWHERE

Not everyone shares the Russian view of what happened to the aid convoy in Syria. Here's a Times cartoon which President Putin probably won't be amused by. But you never know:-


PEOPLE

As if we didn't have enough already, some Spanish folk have identified 4 personality types . Click here if you want to know more about this.

THE GALLERY

More examples of Finnish/British nightmares:-

Finally . . . A request for help: I have a Samsung Core Prime phone, the battery of which seems to go from, say, 35% to zilch if I use – or try to use – the flash for a foto. Anyone know of a reason/solution?

2 comments:

Lenox said...

It's also the case that Spaniards like to gather on the pavement in front of a zebra crossing for a nice chat... and then look surprised when you stop your car. They may even wave you on.

Colin Davies said...

Yes, I've had that. Though not often. As a driver, I've also had the exampple of pedestrians walking in the same direction who suddenly veer onto the crossing without looking, causing you to hammer on the brakes - even at 20kph - and then glare at you for not anticipating their stupidity.

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