There are two country’s we have lived in which have totally different attitudes. One, when people are put out of their comfort zone they will write to newspapers and scream to their Member of Parliament who will try to get the matter raised at Government level. The other where people shrug their shoulders and move on with life.
After living in Spain for more than two decades one would have thought we are embroiled in its different ways, especially red days. This is when towns, also cities have their own celebration to follow an event in the past and all businesses and sometimes this includes restaurants and bars, close for a day. That is what makes the country so wonderfully relaxed because its way of life and its history is important and has not changed over time.
For some while, we had been searching for an item without success, however we knew of a shop about thirty miles away with the possibility they would stock it. It was a Monday. A poor miserable day so instead of being indoors looking at the rain thundering down it seemed a great idea to sit in the warmth of the car and make the journey.
I imagine by now the reader has guessed, it was a red day in that town when we arrived, and the place was closed and well locked up. Ninety kilometres return but after a while the rhythm of the windscreen wipers is interesting.
In the uncluttered roads of the countryside, individuals and groups of cyclists pound the road in their desire to keep fit, slim and some not so slim in colourful Lycra clad characters with their heads down over the handlebars, feet twirling around on the pedals pushing them forward.
Groups ride in pairs and legally do so, it is a little hard luck if you are trapped behind them, there is very little one can do except wait until there is room to safely pass.
Race days when large groups of cyclists chase their way around the country. The Guardia on motorcycles are busy paving the way for them, closing exit and access to side roads so the participants can safely continue their journey at speed, while bringing the area to a standstill. In a big race that can take hours. There is nothing one can do but amuse yourself and wait until the road has returned to normal and the colourful display vanishes into the distance.
Yes we have been unlucky a few times, while the Spanish continue their way of life, and so be it we are very happy to share their country with them – with the exception when one can get exasperated and that is being served in a shop and they have taken your credit card and then the telephone rings, now you are almost non existent as the server pursues the conversation.
The Spanish always neatly dressed, and time is a commodity to be used not adhered to.
I cannot help but feel that Brexit has a made a difference to the way officialdom treats the English speaking residents, perhaps I am a little paranoid about it, and hope it is not true.
Let me explain. It was eight years ago when I bought our latest car, in that period it has had an ITV as and when it is due. It was a requirement to have it tested again this week. No change to the cars fittings as they have been in all the other tests.
We were surprised when it failed. This is why I question whether we are being treated differently?
As it is possible to see in the picture, one of the failures was because the tiny rear camera impeded the number plate. It doesn’t!
It did not stop there. It was also failed because the front and rear side light bulbs, although they worked they were of the wrong type because they had been changed, for extra brightness and safety to LED bulbs, however they do not match the cars original specification.
Otherwise the car was perfect!
There is a nasty money expenditure to this unnecessary exercise, each bulb has a sum of money attached to replace them. The biggest problem is the small rear view camera. It is part a harness which travels through the car behind the panelling to a screen at the dashboard where it can be viewed. To move the camera is out of the question as it would mean changing the harness. To resolve the situation, we have unscrewed the number plate and lowered it – hopefully this will be accepted.
Taking into account travelling to and from the ITV station (90 kilometres as we live the mountains) also the other work and time the final account will be in excess of one hundred Euros.
Unfortunately, I do not have an MP to write to! Nonetheless, we love living here and it is possible over time to get used the Spanish ways.
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