Monday, September 29, 2014

And Then Along Came Juan

I can't believe I haven't told you yet! A couple of weeks ago, San Geraldo and I received our new residency cards. This is "Renewal #2" of our temporary residency permits.

Considering the big deal I made when we received our first residency cards when there was a parade (click here), and a year later when we received our first renewals and enjoyed a sweet celebration (click here), it's interesting we didn't think a parade or muffins were in order this time around.

I guess it's good that it's become for us like renewing a driver's license (well, like renewing a driver's license used to be... there will be Spanish stories soon).

2011:  THE FIRST RESIDENCY CARD PARADE.
2012:  THE FIRST RENEWAL SWEET STOP.


Not Taking Everything for Granted
Although our latest residency cards didn't carry the wallop our first and second cards did, I'm at least not taking everything else for granted about our lives in Spain. And I still have to use most of my self-control to not jump out of bed just about every morning to take pictures of the post-summer sunrises on the Mediterranean Sea.

Saturday morning, Moose and Dudo were a bit rambunctious, so I gave up on trying to sleep in and headed to the terrace with my camera. They were grateful for the company. (Click any image to enlarge.)






It was a cool and comfortable morning and I spent a long time outside snapping away. It was so quiet and peaceful. But then along came Jones, I mean Juan, and I expected to hear his dreaded gas-powered leaf blower (click here if you missed being introduced).

I was relieved to discover Juan had left the leaf blower behind. My peace was not disturbed... except for the song that looped in my head for the rest of the day.

AND THEN ALONG CAME JONES... JUAN.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

But I Get Up Again

Yesterday afternoon I was out on the terrace and I noticed we hadn't completely reattached the corner yucca (one of our three large yuccas) to the wall since repositioning it a bit during the summer. I thought, "We'd better take care of that before the cyclonic winds return."

Oops. I awoke during the night to the sound of a crash outside followed by the tumbling of stones. The cyclonic winds had returned and it sounded to me like the yucca had gone down again. I peaked through the bedroom window and, sure enough, it was not where it was supposed to be.

IT GETS KNOCKED DOWN...
MOOSE WANTS A CLOSER LOOK...
IT GETS UP AGAIN.
DUDO INSPECTS FROM A SAFE PERCH.
THE WIND IS NEVER GONNA KEEP IT DOWN... 


I headed to the living room, planning to go out through the slider to retrieve the yucca and move it to a protected spot until morning. But it was pouring. I began to open the door, but it was being buffeted so hard by the winds that it was actually difficult to slide it and the gust that blew into the living room would have blown the hair off my head... if I had any. So, I decided to wait until the calm of morning and I went back to bed. San Geraldo slept through it all.


This morning's sounds of the surf...
video


The yucca is alive and well ... and vertical again. We'll rewire it later today. It's amazing what that plant can survive.


With gratitude to our yucca for today's inspiration...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Driven Batty By Vodafone

Oh, the huge joke that is Vodafone customer service...

MY MOST RECENT SELFIE, TAKEN AT BIOPARC FUENGIROLA.
(CLICK ANY IMAGE TO SEE HOW BATTY I'VE BECOME.)

I shared our Vodafone saga with you back on June 11 in a very large nutshell. The nutshell has gotten larger... and nuttier. I won't go into all the details. You can get up to speed (or down to Vodafone's speed) by clicking here.


Why I'm Batty
We canceled Vodafone service (mobiles, home phone, internet) in Sevilla and switched to Movistar when we moved here February 2013. They charged us for 3 months. I called. They agreed it was their mistake and gave us a full refund.


Then they started charging us again. I called and called. We emailed. I called. It took a while until we realized we could simply block them from our bank account. So, they said we owed them money. I called and called. They said we owed them money. Our friend the Goddess Elena called and called.


Finally, in June 2014, they refunded us... except for one month they decided we owed them. We didn't but, at that point, I gave up.


After a series of imbecilic text messages from Vodafone (telling me our service was reinstated, our service was canceled, call if we want to reinstate service), I received a text message that we owed 36+ euros for our last month of service in June 2014. They've called and called. I've argued and argued. And now we're back with a Collections Agency. When they call, I simply hang up.

The Goddess Elena and I might go into Málaga to Vodafone's main office. Then again, I might just keep hanging up. For me, it's become entertaining.


Watch this brief video to understand our Vodafone experience...
video