Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Question of Semantics

This is a picture taken on Wednesday of a number of people entering Melilla. Apparently around 500 souls, merrily waving their passports and duty free bottles of scotch, are now enjoying traditional Spanish hospitality.
I suppose the question arises - for the purposes of the statisticians, will they be treated as in transit, tourists or as residents?

Friday, March 14, 2014


So what happens to those millions of documents our friends the funcionarios are so keen on producing? Eventually, they go to the 'Junta de Expurgo', which orders their destruction. And the whole beautiful cycle of life begins anew. Here, from today's Voz de Almería, 70,000 old court documents are incinerated.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Torrecárdenas Hospital

The provincial hospital is in Almería and is called the Torrecárdenas. It's a gigantic building which is stretched to the limit. Hard-working staff, nurses, doctors and emergency crews working long hours. An immense army of patients and out-patients, family members and entire gypsy clans wheel around the wards and passageways, while patients in pajamas creep outside with their drips attached to have a not very furtive cigarette. Over the way, there's a bar/restaurant doing splendid service, if a bit less than in the good old days when it also sold brandy. Indeed, back in the day,  if you gave blood, you got a chitty for a free drink, a coffee and biscuit perhaps, or that aforementioned brandy. Like most services in Spain, there isn't enough parking for the enormous number of visitors, while cars are regularly being towed from inconvenient 'spots' they've found or created. An army of the disabled collect a coin from each driver who is obliged to leave his car on a giant field of rocks just about within walking distance of the centre.
It's a fine and noble hospital, daily forced to work miracles. Perhaps the politicians should spend a little less on their high-speed trains, and a little more on their hospitals.