2018.12.07 Keep yourself to yourself, if you can

Privacy does not exist in Spain. It doesn’t cease to amaze me how indifferent organizations and official persons are concerning sensitive information. A handful of examples from these past months:

  • Coincidentally the doctor was at the receptionists’ desk when somebody phoned about a test result. Those were not discussed in the solitud of the consulting room, but for everybody to hear. And it wasn’t the best news that the doctor had to bring.
  • The bank does not have separate rooms. When you want to discuss your money matters you have to do it at the desk of the available consultant with everybody walking past or interrupting with questions.
  • The same goes for the town hall. The waiting area is right next to the desk of the civil servant. Are you having difficulties with anything? Too bad, the rest of world will hear all your ins and outs.
  • At the notary some kind of mediation process was in full bloom in the corridor by lack of enough rooms.

This morning at the doctor’s this open door policy was taken literal. Despite the cold (it was still early morning and then it really is cold) not one door was closed by the persons going through. Keeping every waiting person in a draught. Making us remark dryly: Ah, this is also a way to not just have patients, but keep them patients as well. 🙂


2018.11.15 Pig legs

This torture device is present in most of the Spanish households. It took me a while until I figured out what it is.

Then I saw the same thing in restaurants with a pork’s leg squeezed into it.

Ah, so that’s what it’s for. They have a big, sharp knife next to it and cut pieces off it as tapas. Or to put on the tostadas for the meat lovers.

And since we don’t eat meat we hadn’t seen it in practice until recently.


2018.10.24 No TV? No radio?

“You don’t want a TV? Are you sure?”

We are looking for another house to rent for November. The house we were visiting had a TV in the living room that was almost as big as the room itself. The landlord’s son likes to watch it with friends and pizza.

So we said we wouldn’t mind if he took it with him. Hence the surprised exclamation.

It reminded me of the list we were given with the basic things to know for the car:

  • how to start
  • where the brakes are
  • how to handle the gearshift
  • how the radio should be operated

With a similar reaction when we said the latter is not important.

Giving us again evidence for the fact that Spanish people like their noise.


2018.09.29 Happy singers

In Holland you hardly hear people singing in the street. Professional street singers excepted of course.

Now we are located in the middle of a village I often hear singing at the end of the day. Usually it’s an older man or woman strolling at ease on the boulevard. In my – still inexperienced – ears it is flamenco. I love the sound.

It contributes very much to a Spanish atmosphere.


2018.09.25 Typical Spanish

In our hunt for a house we have a lot of viewings. Sometimes the real estate agent has a key. Sometimes the owner or tenant are in the house and open the door for us.

What is interesting in the latter case is that always, always, the television is on. Sometimes muted, sometimes blaring.

And we always have the viewings during daytime, mind you.

It’s probably a custom they copied from the restaurants. Or could it be the other way around?


2018.09.23 A cloud of dust

Some things over here are still old fashioned. At a regular basis we encounter a livestock of either sheep or goats. The shepherds wander around the villages and the agricultural terrains.

I am not sure though you could call this type of old-fashioned-ness ecological. Given all the plastic and asbestos that is lying around I doubt there doesn’t end some up in the animals’ stomach.

I am happy we don’t eat meat. But as an image it’s quite romantic, don’t you think?



2018.09.13 Group behavior

As a side note I mentioned the groups of people standing in the water before. It’s an amazing sight for us Dutchies, because we never saw anything like that in Holland.

And I thought it was due to the heat. But even this evening in the dusk we spotted several groups in the water during our daily walk.

Oh well, in or out of the water, it doesn’t matter at the moment. It is so humid!



2018.07.14 A constant source of amusement

Whenever we sit down for a drink the regular orders are Coca Cola Zero sin hielo for Tom and Agua con gas del tiempo for me. Meaning Tom wants a sugar-free coke without ice and I want bubble water at room temperature.

More often than not my order contains a glass with a big lump of ice. And if I ask the waiter why I would want water at room temperature with an ice cube they just stare blank at me. Clueless.

Don’t you think that’s hilarious? 😀