Monday, 27 July 2015
People. You are being RIPPED OFF.
Being "ripped off" is one of life's annoyances, to be polite and it happens to everybody at some point in their day. If it doesn't happen to you today, then be on your guard tomorrow. Everybody is out to rip everyone else off. Everywhere. Every single day. I don't know about you, but it winds me up something shocking. Conmen (and women). I'll give a few examples...
We'll start with taxi drivers. Over in my old stomping ground in good ol' Blighty, a taxi driver was blatantly trying to rip off a couple of foreign students by charging almost 50 pounds for a ten minute journey when the cost should have been about 8 pounds.
Similarly, in the capital a man was caught trying to charge tourists a whopping 206 pounds for a one mile journey up Oxford Street on his rickshaw. And THAT was at a discounted price! Oh, I had to chuckle. It was only when he was challenged by passers by and police he eventually accepted 40 pounds.
I read there is to be a taxi strike here in Spain. At the airport. In August. Oh, dear. Drivers are not happy because all the foreign unlicensed cabbies are taking their business. Unlicensed taxis are everywhere, but be honest, it's usually a friend of a friend who won't charge you an extortionate price to take you ten minutes down the road to your apartment. Spanish taxis are not cheap. Ok, an cab from the airport to our place is 20 euros. It doesn't come cheaper. If you're lucky you might save yourself a fiver if you go with the friend of a friend. When I was over in England recently I could travel anywhere within the town's limits and not pay more then a fiver with one cab firm. Not bad when there are kids involved and it's actually quite possibly cheaper than taking the bus.
Another rip off merchant is the supermarket. Yes, the BIG supermarkets both in the UK and in Spain seem to think it's ok to sell something dirt cheap one week and then hike the price right up a few days later. A pack of 4 Fruit Shoots 1 pound. A couple of days later 2.46! How do they justify that? The only ones over this way whose price seem to stay consistent are the "cheap" supermarkets Lidl and Aldi. More and more people are shopping in these places because they don't claim to be the best. They're cheap and they're honest about it. Thret don't claim to be the best. They just say they're 'as good as'.
Theme parks. Where do they get their crazy ideas for prices from? You have to be super rich to be able to afford a family day out at Thorpe Park! They charge almost 230 pounds on the gate for a family of four. That's before you buy food, drink, pay to park your car...and then you spend the day standing in a queue! Yay! What fun! Compare that to a family ticket for four at Terra Mitica in Benidorm for 129 euros. Bit cheaper.
It might actually be cheaper to take your kids out of school during term time (yes, that's with the fine) and jet off to the sun for a couple of days. Holiday firms and flights, MORE rip off merchants. WHY can they get away with charging prices during 'peak' times that have been plucked out of thin air? Why does nobody say anything about it? If they are, why are there not enough people saying anything about it? Because we don't want to be seen as rude, perhaps? I understand these people have to make a living. But is is REALLY necessary to send prices into the stratosphere? Just because it's "peak" season? Airlines: Does it REALLY cost 40 euros in fuel for EVERY bag in the hold?
Always negotiate at the market. Home or abroad. That's half the fun. They start with a price you laugh at, then after walking away and having the stall holder practically chase you, and then they say "Ok, how much you pay?" (if their English skills are good enough)You tell them, and you may or may not walk happily away with your purchase.
I know I am getting older. (Probably grumpier, too) I know prices rise. But come on now, these prices are ridiculous, and you know it, all you Fat Cats out there, rubbing your hands together in glee, laughing at the folks who work hard to line your pockets. I'm sure YOU can afford school holidays during the allocated times and to pay for a legitimate taxi from the airport, eh? I think ordinary people are treated unfairly most of the time and need to find a voice to speak.
I also think it's shocking that conmen (and women) seem to get away with it...
Thursday, 23 July 2015
Life As It Is: The Differences Between UK and Spanish Seagulls: Seagulls They're a part of the furniture in every seaside town. But they have been in the news recently, it's almost like pe...
They're a part of the furniture in every seaside town. But they have been in the news recently, it's almost like people have only just found their voice to speak up. Seaside dwellers in the UK always complain under their breath because, well, the gulls are a protected species.
Coming from a seaside town myself I have grown up with the gulls so it never really bothered me. But I think I would be bothered if one stole my chip or pecked my child. I've heard stories about crazy gulls who dive bomb innocent people at all times of the day and night back up our old way!
Let's get a couple of things straight. It's nesting season. These are wild animals protecting their young. They nest in chimneys etc because they are not afraid of heights. They like cliffs. But the cliffs are slowly falling into the sea. Every time I speak to family back in the Homeland I can hear the gulls in the background, and my mother told me they start at 1am and don't stop. Nuisance. That's the word she uses.
I returned for a visit back in the spring and I noticed the gulls squawking at stupid o' clock, but if you visit a seaside town it is to be expected, right? But it didn't bother me. I also noticed that there was rubbish on the streets. Not just litter. Rubbish bags. The bins are collected once a fortnight, and then they complain about scavenging birds?
The gulls on the costa, however, are different. Maybe they're more chilled out and have the 'mañana' lifestyle, I don't really hear them until the fishing boats come in. Then I don't take much notice. I'm more than used to it by now.
Should they be culled? Should they be shot?
Barcelona has the answer for pigeons. Put them on the Pill? Perhaps council of seaside towns in the UK could consider something similar for the gulls? Actually Maybe not a good idea, how would you put contraceptive in their feed when they eat fresh fish? And sprinkling it onto rubbish bags that they break into wouldn't be practical either.
The gulls and all the other pests have as much of a right to be here as we have. Someone suggested taking their eggs? That'll cheer them right up, eh? Unfortunately, I don't have the solution or any practical ideas, but I'm waiting to hear if someone comes up with something as genius as the Barcelona pigeon plan!
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Well, here we are again. This is me fiddling about with my page. I have been asked to create one, and here it is...for now. I may decide to change it, I may not.
I have been following other bloggers on Twitter and a lot of them are about beauty reviews, etc. Well, that's not me, I'm afraid. I just tell it how it is, you may agree with my random ramblings, you may not.
It's been busy down this way lately! The kids have broken up from school and I have found a little part time job, teaching English at one of the local schools at "Summer Camp". I really enjoy it! I also have a ton of housework to catch up on, a column to write, classes to plan, and a mountain of paperwork to sort out. Oh, and I'd like to edit my novel and hopefully have it published.
You can read more at www.allabroad.es
I've always enjoyed writing, and now I've got my writing head back on, watch out world!!
Well, here we are again. I've been looking at blogs on Twitter, and I must admit they looked a lot better than my rather poor effort. As you can tell, this is all still quite new to me, and everyone I'm following has reviews of this beauty product and I'm not really like that. I'll just tell you about things that go on in daily life, and sharing my opinions. You may like them, you may not, but that's how I see it. Hence "Life as it Is".
I've been playing around with the design and layout, I'm sure it'll change a few more times before I finally settle on one I like.
At the moment, life is actually pretty hectic! The kids have all broken up from school, I've found a little part time job locally teaching English for Summer Camp, I have an article to write, I have a mountain of paperwork to sort out, a pile of ironing to work my way through and eventually a book to edit. I will get round to it...at Christmas, maybe?
So, in the meantime I will look forward to sharing my random thoughts which you can choose to agree with, or otherwise.
My monthly column is in www.allabroad.es
Have a read and a chuckle about Life as it is...