Monday, July 13, 2009

Is the world a nice place again?

Out of all the scenarios that we had considered the one which was obviously something to ignore was that our past estate agents would behave with honesty and give us our deposits back.

With a few deductions for gas, electricity, water and the ironic leaking tap (which totaled about 120€) we were given back our deposits in full.

Our money (€2,600) was still sealed in the envelope in which it was placed two years ago when we first signed the contract for the flat. So the money has been doing nothing for two years: what a waste! We are however relieved to have got the money back and are determined to go out and celebrate by having a mixed sea food extravaganza in a local restaurant!

Toni is going to celebrate by buying a replacement bicycle. His original bicycle was been ‘looked after’ by his uncle while he was in Wales and it has since been ‘stolen’ from the garage in which it was being kept. This has led to much family debate in which I carefully take no part.

I will join Toni in his celebrations and buy an ‘Old Man’s Bike’; this is a proper looking bike with a guard over the chain and basket in the front and a comfortable looking seat. A bike is essential because we are not within walking distance of a shop. We could go back to where we used to live where there are plenty of shops – but no parking spaces. When I last went back to get some food from one of the takeaways that we used to use I spent fifteen minutes or more trying to find a parking space!

I have taken the first steps in moving from the Worst Bank in the World (BBVA) to another which cannot be worse. My choice is a bank called La Caixa which is a Catalan bank and it has my vote because it finances something called La Caixa Forum which is a cultural organization. The part I use is found at the foot of Monjuïc where in a converted Modernista factory there are a series of galleries one of which hosts major art exhibitions.

This is in marked contrast to The Worst Bank in the World which finances La Liga one of whose teams has paid the exceptionally disgusting sum of over €90,000,000 for the services of a talented, but arrogant kickball player!

My account is up and running and has some of the money from the returned deposit in it to start it off. The service was friendly and the person dealing with me attempted to speak English while I attempted to speak Spanish. Luckily Toni was there to ensure that our linguistic gymnastics did not get too physical!

We even got a little gift (at my prompting) to mark the opening of the account! The problem now is to get a full transfer of my account without BBVA grasping their usual cripplingly high ‘bank charges’ for every bloody thing that they do.

I have (we have) built all the white Billy bookcases which now grace the walls of ‘The Library’ – or perhaps I should call it The Book Room which sounds slightly less pretentious. Why I should be worrying about pretention at this stage in my life, god alone knows, it has never concerned me in the past!

Tomorrow the search for a swivel chair for the living room for me begins!

Never a dull moment!
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