30.7.15

space it out


se busca
zona costa blanca alicantina

por actos de gran humildad
inglés y argelino

hombres altamente peligrosos

3 days in england

view from the passenger side
england, july 2015


the reality


The dank, dark, dismal, overcrowded reality

We had three really nice days in May.








it's bad
enough. It's raining. It's 17º. This is summer. This is the best it's gonna get. The people look worse than the state of the roads. There is no pride left. Everyone looks a mess. Me included of course.

eating out
If I ask for bread with my meal, if I ask for oil for my salad, if I ask for the code for the wifi, please don't treat me as though you've no idea what I'm talking about. I tried hard. I said it in your language. I asked politely.  It isn't an item on the menu, no. I can see that for myself. I should not however have to explain the term 'bread'. I should not have to give the example that you use it for other items on your badly written menu including 'camanber melt'. Yes. I can now see the rules and regulations of your restaurant. Printed in bold at the top of the same. You've pointed at them and said, 'this is what you have to do'. Is this really what your punters want? None of them seem happy.

I am sorry I did not understand that I had to go to the appointed 'food hatch' to order food. I am sorry I did not understand that the 'bar queuing system' to order a drink was in a different place. I was not trying to push in when I went to what looked like a bar from which one could avail oneself of a drink. I did not expect to have to be aware of an airport check-in-like queuing system to await my turn to be served. If the wifi isn't working, just say so. It doesn't matter.

Please just be clear. Let's face it, when I first saw 'restaurant' I though you'd allocate me a table and then come over and ask what I'd like to eat. How wrong could I have been!

Then, when I finally do get something to eat and drink, without bread, oil nor wifi, please just go away. It's been enough of a turmoil getting this far in the first place. If I finish something please do not pounce immediately upon me and remove the plate from beneath my still poised hands.

waitresses
Did you check what those buy-one-get-one-free leggings looked like? In a mirror? Before you came to work? From all angles?

honesty

When the third different girl came over and asked me if everything was OK, I lied.

expectations
I had expected to be treated politely and in a dignified manner. If there is a sign that indicates 'wifi zone', then I'd expect that if I could read the sign, I could reasonably expect wifi. If as seems the case there never has been wifi, then maybe remove the sign?

conclusion
1. This may explain this.
2. One does not understand the term humility until one has earned the courage to make amends.

20.7.15

el albir

life in albir

English? Live in Albir? Need to go to Spain? Read on. We have you covered.

Don't worry. As you're walking along and you see me coming, there's no need to slow down, hold onto each other tightly, stop talking and stare at me as I walk by. You are not going to have your handbag stolen yet again. I am not going to say anything to you in Spanish. It may be 4 pm and you ate lunch 4 hours ago, but I work for a living. In Spain. So I haven't. And yes, I know. All I'm going to be able to get at this time of day is Spanish muck, wreaking of garlic and swimming in olive oil at that dirty place on the back streets where the plumber and car mechanic types go. Not a word of bloody English in that place. Filthy it is. All fish heads on the floor. And they all smoke in that outside bit.

Why am I wearing a tie? Because I work for a living. Remember that? In fact, I've just got back from the dole office in Benidorm. I took an English couple who live in Albir there and translated for them. They'd been the day before. It was horrendous, they told me:

There must have been thirty Spaniards all pushing in and being loud. No respect. Wreaked of garlic, the lot of em. All smiling and joking they were. Not a word of English between them. And so rude. They kept pushing in all the time and shouting. One of them poured water over a tramp. Filth they were. And it was so hot. We had to queue and they all started pushing in. Couldn't understand a word they were saying. So rude they were. Loud. Disgusting. We were scared.

Second time they'd been. First time they went, there was a big queue and there must have been all of thirty Spaniards all pushing in and being loud, they told me. All the signs in Spanish. Couldn't understand a thing. They asked me the day before and I told them what to do when they got there. They told me that they wouldn't need me to go with them. But they couldn't do what I said because all the Spaniards were pushing in and eating garlic. One of them poured olive oil over a tramp. They left empty handed and had an argument.

Anyway, this next day it was really hot, so they waited for me to pick them up, standing looking nervous wearing inappropriate clothes in full sun complaining how they'd had a sleepless night worrying about the dole office. And how hot it was in July. And it was so much easier in England.

Then we went to the dole office. They started arguing about not taking me with them yesterday. She said that he'd said he wouldn't pay and they started arguing. They said it was much easier with me there and they wish they'd have decided to take me along yesterday so that they wouldn't have to come again today. It would have been well worth the fee, she said. He agreed with her this time. She was doing all the talking, but it wasn't her that needed to be there, it was him. Then they started talking about getting flights back because she needed to go to the hairdressers.

Anyway, turned out I could see what their problem was. There's a new computer system, see. Instead of getting a ticket and waiting in a queue with all rude Spaniards pushing in and then being called to see a person when it was your number, you now stood in a queue with all Spaniards and a tramp with olive oil pushing in and then you go to what looks like one of them fruit machines you have in bars. Only it's not. It's a computer and where it usually has three cherries and a melon, it has a keyboard and you have to press the screen. All in Spanish it is. That's why they left yesterday. They told me I'd told them wrong and suggested it was my fault. I said it was, but anyway we're here again now. I told them I wouldn't charge for the advice yesterday. I usually work for peanuts anyway. They kept asking me how much I charged.

So anyway, we get to the front and when I do it, it seems to work fine. They gave me the passport and stuff and I put in the numbers. They say it's really complicated and it's so loud with all the Spaniards laughing and joking as if they were old mates and pushing in and spraying garlic oil over each other. We're going great. Everything is fine. They start smiling and thanking me.

Then you get to the bit where you have to prove it's you and they send a code to your phone. You then have to touch another bit of the screen and put in the code. They looked very nervous as I was doing it. And it was very loud and everyone was pushing in. So I pushed the screen and asked him to check his phone.

But he hadn't brought his phone.

15.7.15

pluto

pluto
new-horizons spacecraft image of pluto
5 billion km from earth


As others are post pictures of their cat on facebook, I thought I'd post a close range image of the dwarf planet Pluto. Well done NASA.

11.7.15

easterlies

My Aunt Mary says, 'England has weather.'. What did she mean? 'Spain has climate.', she answered. I wonder if this counts

Super dry westerlies this morning and a relatively refreshing 33º at noon with clear skies, bright sun and 30% humidity. It took just 3 hours for the air stream to swing via north to east. The easterlies are now bringing most of the Mediterranean with them. It's still 33º but with the humidity at 60%, it's an impossible sweat situation. Climate?




Heavy cloud cover at Polop this afternoon. The humidity is awful.

8.7.15

meanings

element 483 Rh, yesterday
Rhetoric is a word which is maligned by current attitudes. Society has no time for analysis. Instead these days it relies upon superficial memories of the, '...one would have thought he meant...', type. The initiator of a series of words no longer thinks in terms of meaning nor interpretation for he knows only too well that the meaning of his writings are unlikely ever to be given but the briefest of glances; never to be checked, thought about nor analysed. Those who do enter into such trains of thought banish themselves to a life of misery and misunderstanding. Some turn to drugs and alcohol. Many never recover.

1.7.15

conjunction

venus and jupiter align

30 June 2015, Polop de la Marina, Alicante
coinciding with the addition of the leap second tonight at 23:59:59, here are Venus and Jupiter around an hour after sunset.












3 July 2015, Alcalá, Tenerife













4 July 2015, Polop