Now Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
Life in Spain:
- Here's The Local's view of 10 Spanish drinks you should try.
- Reader Maria tells me of an identical hard-sell experience with Telefónica, despite the fact she was cancelling a line after her father had passed away. Spanish friends told me last night that, as calls are recorded, the employees have to read their entire spiel whatever the circumstances, for fear of being sacked if they don't. That's customer orientation Spanish style! En passant, Terra.com belongs to Telefónica and I've been a customer since 2000. With possibly the world's shortest email address - email@example.com. Right on cue, last night they advised their free email service will summarily end very soon. Making my life slightly less complex. So not entirely bad news.
- Spain's law which penalises you for showing disrespect towards authority figures - especially the police - is tagged the ley mordaza, or 'gag law'. Here in Pontevedra, it provided €3.1m in fines last year. Just in case you're ever tempted, you should know that the police particularly hate being filmed.
- To be more positive . . . Here and here are reports on Spain's decent healthcare service.
Surely to no one's surprise, Transparency International says that Spain urgently needs to deal with her 'systemic corruption'. One (idly) wonders just how much EU taxpayers' money has ended up in Swiss or Andorran bank accounts. Here and here again.
The USA: Here's another outlandish thought . . . Trump has been so used to getting his own way – albeit by lying, cheating and bullying – that, when he's eventually ousted from office, they'll need to put him on suicide watch. Assuming, of course, he sees this as failure. Which is admittedly not something he's not very good at doing. And he'll have an awful lot of folk to blame instead of himself.
Locally . . If you're coming to Galicia soon for the food, be warned that an 'octopus ban' begins here on May 19 and ends on July 3. I'm not sure this means there won't be any available here but I presume that, if there is, it won't be locally sourced.
Finally . . . I can think offhand of 4 or 5 local spots where you can't actually see what traffic is coming as you approach a junction. Here's one I negotiate every day, on a short cut across a one-lane bridge towards town. It's bad enough in winter but in summer the foliage makes it impossible to know if a car is coming until you meet it and then have to reverse.
My question is this . . . Is nothing done about these dangers because no one thinks to complain about them? Like the cyclists on the pavements, or on the road without lights. Or the zebra crossings in town where your sight lines are blocked by, for example, the council's rubbish containers. Live and let live? The essence of Spanish life.
To be honest . . . There's one fewer place, at the roundabout at the bottom of my hill. It used to look like this all the way down to the junction, making it blind:-
But it now looks like this:-
So . . . Either someone realised it was dangerous and the metal fence was partially removed or someone stole some sheets . . . Just for information: The entrance to one of the 2 nearby gypsy settlements is on the other side of the roundabout.