Monday, February 26, 2007

Cash to Spare??

Hey dumbo! Want to make a quick buck?, Do you have a dubious moral code? Are you a bit naive and easily sucked in? Are you oblivious to the goings-on in the outside world? Does the phrase 'more money than sense' apply to you?

Then jump on the latest investment band wagon. Buy some NEW IRAQI DINARS! They are selling like hotcakes. If you are American, you have the same investment rights as an Iraqi citizen, but you miss out on living in a place where you have the excitement of not knowing when your legs might be blown off!! Still, you can't have everything....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Don't go changin'

I just got back from a weekend in the UK, from another wedding (my brother's). It was all very lovely and involved a Humanist minister who looked a lot like Leo Sayer and made everyone feel like dancing.

When I got to London, I realised that I had left my 'outfit' in Barcelona, so I had to get up very early and try and find something to wear. This confirmed what I had already suspected about different shopping experiences in the UK and Spain.

In London: They make clothes bigger than a size 6; There is almost always more than one assistant in the shop; Shop assistants will go out of their way to help you find something (albeit usually in a slightly false way); If you go to 'London's premiere fashion retail experience (TM)', Topshop Oxford Street, (which if you are trying to find the exit is like a bad dream), the staff will use phrases like 'I'd go for 80 denier on the tights, that's so on trend right now" and they're not being ironic.

In Barcelona on the other hand, you are generally treated as if you are invisible, or as some kind of sociopath if you ask for any information that doesn't fall strictly within the remit of the shop assistant's job title.
(I won't mention my Ferreteria experience here again, but suffice to say Watchdog would have been alerted if it had happened in Britain).

So, for me, in general, shopping is a more pleasant experience in the UK. But, there is something about the surliness and general lack of interest in attracting customers that makes Barcelona a better place to live. The fact that people are more interested in other stuff (drinking nice coffee and eating three course lunches for example) is what makes life a lot less hectic than a city like London. Also, you can still find shops in Barcelona that sell, for example, nothing but slippers, or that repair shoes, or that only sell clothes made of crinolene, where what's 'on trend' is irrelevant and unknown. And there's not an All Bar One or Bar 38 in sight. Yet.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Stick it up yer terror beard network

As published by the BBC yesterday: The Muslim reaction to the current terror investigations in Birmingham.