A View From Spain

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16 July 2021

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I've been fortunate to have spent much of the winter of 2019-2020 residing across the southern shore of Spain. Occupying description leased casa near the center of an old town for an extended time, which inevitably involved engaging with sailors, such as commercially with shop keepers and so on, gave me a great opportunity to observe how daily economic life is lived in a location far from my New Hampshire house.

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To be clear, I truly do have a life outside of financial observation, however for purposes of the piece I'll concentrate on a tiny anecdotal contrast between the way people conduct commercial exchange at a corner of Spain and at NH. To further set up investigate this site , note that I deliberately lived without a vehicle and had no information plan for 3 weeks, relying rather on public transport and WiFi (or even wee-fee as they cutely state there).

These near-monastic practices aside, allow me to tell you a bit about my provisional Spanish hometown. you could try these out , a little city of about 75K residents, lies along the southern coast about 25 kilometers west of Malaga, the big city in these parts. It is in the autonomous region of Andalusia (such as a US state), that's the biggest of these self-governing areas in Spain. Given that it had been commanded by the Islamic Moors for approximately seven centuries the culture and architecture is a unique blend of Christian and Muslim influences never seen elsewhere in Europe. I concur.

What is on bing is the way old-fashioned things seem, at least to some man in his late sixties. In helpful resources of course we get in our cars and drive to large supermarkets and large box stores to purchase our things, or as is increasingly the casewe purchase things online and have them shipped to our homes. But here, the small &quot;Mom &amp; Pop&quot; shops are alive and apparently well. The sidewalks every day, except Sunday, are teeming with people carrying their everyday marketing of vegetables, fruits, medicines, clothing, breads/pastries, alcohol, and lottery tickets (really big here).

I have to admit that despite an apparent inefficiency with moving to one shop for your bread, to a different to your vegetables, and also to another for meat I enjoyed the quaintness and personal touch of getting to know the men and women who worked these establishments. Levels of personal service always appeared large and I never felt rushed. Sure Amazon.es and big box stores such as El Corte Ingles exist, but small brick &amp; mortar retail is hanging here fairly well.

Folks sit with family and friends for what seems like hours chatting on coffee and beer throughout workdays and weekends alike. Cafes and bars are everywhere spilling onto sidewalks. The jabber is lively and unkind and leaves a Yank with the belief that life really needs to be fun and lived with gusto. &quot; But it does. It's a highly functioning, prosperous, and safe feeling neighborhood. Police presence is minimal.

The Euro is the money. And right now its value is only about 10% greater than the US dollar. But, prices for most commodities seem lower here. I'm often struck by how much value I'm getting for this little cash. Granted, gasoline is more than in NH and I don't have a good sense of the prices of energy and big-ticket items, but overall prices seem cheaper in Spain. Additionally, this a cash-based society. My pocket regularly is weighed down with those heavy coins (a First World issue, I know). Sure men and women use credit cards and telephone pay apps, but cash is still quite prevalent.

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