A View From Spain


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16 July 2021

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I've been fortunate to have spent a lot of the winter of 2019-2020 living along the southern shore of Spain. Occupying a leased casa near the middle of an old city for an extended time, which necessarily involved engaging with sailors, such as commercially with shop keepers and so on, gave me a great chance to observe how daily economic life is lived in a place far from my New Hampshire house.

To be clear, I really do have a life beyond financial observation, however for purposes of this piece that I 'll concentrate on a small anecdotal contrast between the way people conduct commercial exchange at a corner of Spain and at NH. To further set up this, notice that I deliberately lived with no vehicle and had no information plan for 3 weeks, relying instead on public transportation and WiFi (or wee-fee since they cutely say there).

These near-monastic practices aside, let me tell you a little about my provisional Spanish hometown. Fuengirola, a little town of approximately 75K inhabitants, lies across the Mediterranean coast about 25 kilometers west of Malaga, the big city in those areas. It's in the autonomous region of Andalusia (such as a US country ), that's the biggest of these self-governing areas in Spain. Given that additional reading was controlled by the Islamic Moors for approximately seven centuries the culture and architecture is a unique blend of Christian and Muslim influences not seen elsewhere in Europe. Andalusians have a reputation for being emotional and fun-loving. I concur.

What's most evident is how conservative things seem, at least to a guy in his late twenties. In active to say we get in our cars and drive to large supermarkets and big box stores to buy our things, as well as is increasingly the casewe purchase things online and have them sent to our homes. But the small "Mom & Pop" stores are alive and apparently well. The sidewalks each day, except Sunday, are teeming with people doing their daily marketing of vegetables, fruits, medicines, clothes, breads/pastries, alcohol, and lottery tickets (really large here).

I must admit that despite an apparent inefficiency with going to one store for the bread, to another for your vegetables, and to the next for meat I liked the quaintness and private touch of having to know the people who worked those institutions. Levels of personal service always appeared large and I never felt rushed.

look at this web-site sit with friends and family for what seems like hours chatting on coffee and beer during workdays and weekends alike. Cafes and bars are everywhere spilling onto sidewalks. The jabber is lively and boisterous and leaves a Yank with the belief that life really needs to be fun and dwelt with gusto. I must acknowledge I've wondered more than once, "How does any job get done around here? " But it does. Police presence is minimal.

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sneak a peek at this web-site is the money. And now its value is only about 10% higher than the US dollar. However, prices for many commodities appear lower here. I'm frequently 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 costs of power and big-ticket items, but overall prices seem cheaper in Spain. Additionally, this a more cash-based society. My pocket often is weighed down with those heavy coins (a First World issue, I understand ). Sure people use credit cards and phone pay programs, but money is still quite prevalent.

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