17 May 2010

A postcard from Spain

So how is the Spanish economy? Answer: terrible. Unemployment at 20%; VAT about to increase to punitive levels of above 20%; and last week's announcement that the salaries of public servants are to be reduced. And this is the country where the banks escaped virtually unscathed in the recent troubles.

Not that any of the above is likely to have more than a marginal effect on our little village on the Costa Del Sol. The main problem here is the lack of British tourists, principally attributed to the sterling/euro exchange rate. The position has slightly improved this week (with the English schools on holiday) but the place is very far from bustling.

Meanwhile my lotus-eating continues. My fags are more expensive than last time, at 40 euro per carton. But that is about £25 per carton cheaper than in the UK. I reckon that, if I can take eight cartons home, then that more than pays for the price of my return flight.

On the booze front, the standard price for a pint of Mahou in the pubs is two euros (say £1.80), although at least one of the locals I patronise is charging 1.50 euros. Yesterday I had a splendid Sunday lunch of chicken, stuffing, roast potatoes, mash, cabbage, carrot and broccoli for a mere 5 euros.

What do I miss about Edinburgh? Not a lot, to be honest. The i-player for a start. A pint of Deuchars - this Mahou is pleasant stuff but it's not IPA. Tesco delivering my groceries - I need to go out and lug them home myself. Amazon - my post box here is too narrow and even modestly sized parcels are diverted to the post office (a bureaucratic nightmare if ever there was). But, most of all, the beautiful light of the Edinburgh dawn in May at 5 am viewed from my kitchen window. Nothing compares.

But, hey, mustn't grumble - life could be a lot worse ... Back in a few weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dave, the clan gathered this evening and the Deuchers on a warm Edinburgh evening was superb. However the prices up town are ridiculous - £3.40 a pint so maybe Mahou has its attractions