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Showing posts from January, 2013

Overcoming the obvious

Within the expat community there are shades of opinion whether it's legal to drive on a UK licence or not. I decided that it was safer to get a Spanish licence so I exchanged my UK one for a Spanish one.

When Spaniards first get their licence and every time that it is renewed they have a sort of medical that checks general health, eyesight, hearing, reactions and what not. It is not difficult and I know what it involves because, when I was still driving on my UK licence, I wasn't sure whether I needed to do the medical or not so, again, I chose the safest option and did one.

When I exchanged my licence I was not asked for a medical certificate so I presumed that the Spanish authorities took it on trust that I was medically fit because I had a UK licence. I thought I wouldn't have to take the medical until my Spanish licence became due for renewal in 2022. However the medical certificate I had expired last week and it made me wonder whether I was driving legally or not. So…

Geezers but no geysers

My sister was in Reykjavik a few years ago. She tells me that a traditional Icelandic delicacy is rotten shark meat cured by burying it in a hole for a couple of months. We didn't quite follow in her footsteps but we went to Iceland yesterday. There was no rotten shark, no thermal pools, no Northern Lights and no glaciers. Instead there were lots of Britons and all those British foods we crave like balti mix, chilli con carne, chow mein and goulash.

Iceland, the shop, is another little island of Britishness in the midst of Spain. Apparently there are ten stores in Spain run as a franchise by Overseas supermarkets. Three of them are near to us here in Cartagena but the closest is the store at San Javier. Walking in there is like walking into the Iceland in Huntingdon. English is the language and even the products that are readily available in Spain come as their UK equivalents - Diet Coke not Coca Cola Light, Walkers crisps not Lays  - even the meat is imported.

It's my birthd…

Blowing air

I've just walked back from the pictures. This is not an exciting event in itself. In fact this isn't an exciting post. It's here because I'm feeling a bit guilty. I've just realised that I didn't make a single Life in Cartagena entry all through December. How can it be that there's more to write about in sleepy Culebrón than in the city?

So back to the pictures. We tend to go to a multiplex run by a local cinema chain in the Mandarache Shopping Centre. The truth is that but for the cinema the centre would almost certainly have closed by now. It's a shopping centre that has never worked properly. The majority of the shop units are empty, even the Burger King closed down, but for months now there has been structural work going on and a big gaudy sign outside to say " Economato - Opening Soon."

I just presumed that Economato was the name of some ultracheap supermarket chain but apparently not. In the past economatos were stores that sold their good…