Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The Aval is mine!

Not without a fight. After assurances that the money would be paid into my account on Tuesday I was a little surprised to find that it had not been placed there. The woman who I have dealt with before whose banking statements are either fatuous or deliberately misleading or both was waiting to listen to my catalogue of complaints and plaintive (yet searching) questions.

Eventually after I had railed at her in an unusually fluent adrenalin fuelled tirade of Spanish I stormed out of the bank leaving her with a parting sally telling her that the services BBVA offered its customers were a joke.

Unfortunately because of my idiosyncratic Spanish it may have been understood as a complaint about the toilets! Gives them something to think about and there was no way that they could have misinterpreted my mood!

By way of calming myself down I went to IKEA. Again. IKEA stores are constructed on the Roman military principle that wherever you are in the world they are all the same so you know exactly where to go in the serpentine labyrinth that they construct to force you to look at everything they sell before you can get out. Our ‘local’ store is being refitted and, rather than close they are doing the store bit by bit. This means that if you go to the store on a daily basis (as I assure you I have) there are subtle differences as one section closes another opens. It is rather like being in the furnishing equivalent of the film ‘The Cube’ as interconnected elements in the installation constantly change and move.

At least in IKEA you are not squirted with acid or cut with fine wires or incinerated as in the film though I would maintain that there are certainly lethal elements lurking among the more metallic and disconcerting constructions on sale!

Calmed by the spending of money I returned to Castelldefels, deposited my purchased with Toni and, armed with my photocopied aval I returned to the bank.

My money was still not in my account and I asked The Woman to do something about it. She did, in whispered conversations in rapid Spanish which she hoped I would not understand. Some of it was technical, but I did understand that she was urging the people to whom she was speaking not to try and get me to return to Terrassa to get my money. This was a wise move on her part, because any suggestion that I would have had to do anything more than sit in front of her to get my money would have been met with a physically demonstrative expression of my disinclination to do anything more.

Eventually the money was in my account and I then asked for a full listed statement of the account. I lost my temper with the woman as she tried to convince me that the massive bank charges that had been ripped from my current account to finance the ‘risk’ element in my aval were reasonable. Reasonable! I give MY money to the bank who charge me 300€ to set up an account of MY money and then charge be a quarterly charge of 117€ for doing nothing with MY money and pay me a miserly 1.5% which they find other ways not to pay me.

It really does seem to me that the aval is a form of legalized theft and is nothing more than a cynical money making scheme in which is there is absolutely not risk whatsoever for the bank who, if the worst came to the worst, would only have to pay someone else’s money out of the gaping maw of their evilly amassed riches. God rot them.

I have opened a file and intend to ask my union for advice on how I can get my money back from the grasping fingers of the avaricious incompetents who have brought western society to its knees by their intemperate and self aggrandizingly selfish approach to their so-called profession.

But enough of the forays to come in the world of Spanish banking. What of today?

Today has seen the arrival of fridge, washing machine and dishwasher. At last we have re-entered the realm of what I regard as something approaching civilization.

The fridge is enormous and has an internal light whose power drove me backwards when I first opened the machine with the power on! It is also the right way round; so no more stooping for the milk in the vulgar little fridge that The Owner provided.

The washing machine, disconcertingly, plays little tunes at various stages in its washing sequence which at the moment charm with their novelty but I am sure will infuriate in the near future.

The dishwasher is stolid and Germanic and is gradually filling up.

The Family also arrived to celebrate Carme’s birthday. I realize with some trepidation that of all the members of The Family we now are the ones with the most available space for events! I foresee that our popularity is set to rise at the same rate as a seat for the next Real Madrid v. Barcelona match!

We also had the workers of our estate agent arrive. They came to repair the shower, toilet and gate. So, while The Family were eating the delicious cream birthday cake we were treated to an impromptu fireworks display as men ground the metal gate in showers of sparks and then added to the pyrotechnical display with a touch of spot welding. The youngest member of The Family stood wobbilly transfixed by the unaccustomed display.

No sooner had the workmen left than a colleague arrived and in the cool breeze underneath the house we sat and chatted about the evils of Mankind as they are evinced in the educational life of Catalonia. Most enjoyable.

Tomorrow another battle royal.

We have been told by our worthless previous estate agents that we should have our substantial deposits returned this week. As tomorrow will be Thursday and as the week is running out we are visiting our debtors and demanding the cash. Toni is working himself up into frenzy where only the full amount proffered on a cushion of crushed velvet is going to satisfy him.

I look forward to verbal fireworks. Especially if they try and retain any part of the two months’ deposit by trying to argue the toss about the condition of the flat.

Watch this space!
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