Spain

An Appointment With A Bottle Of Champagne

Well it’s a dam sight better than an appointment with the doc for antibiotics that blow your head off. They were prescribed last week to nuke the bug we both acquired,, a free complimentary gift virus from the hospital hotel we limped, nay, crawled away from.

The taxi driver not only had to lift our suitcases into the boot, he also had to carry us both onto the back seat. For his own safety I felt like suggesting he should wear a mask from his mobile medical safety box, but didn´t have the energy to mention it. I bet he was secretly elated it was just a 10 minute drive, as opposed to an airport transfer sat amidst unidentifiable human fumes for longer. Even the air con didn´t prevent pouring sweat or snotty sneezing.

So now that the bug has finally buggered off (after a few false starts). There´s no need to wander aimlessly, while ringing a bell and croaking “UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN” anymore. Even worse we also had to croak “MAL, MAL” too.

“No, No, No “mwah mwah” este dia, yo mal, ermm, infermo.” Beyond the obvious, pinpointing the precise reason for being mal has to be one of the most difficult situations when living in a multi-lingual society. Think about it, when you´re telling someone in your own language from 10 feet away, a detailed timeline is presented. I mean you could even make a documentary out of it.

a) Date and time of onset. Including any pre awareness that something´s not quite right.

b) Guessing how it happened, (the source) and what kind of virus it could be, turns into a discussion of shared experience.

c) Symptoms, day 1, day 2, day 3 etc. Also shared.

d) Exact description of those symptoms, even down to what hour of the day they changed, varied or remained constant.

e) List of various products used to aid symptoms, everyone has their favourites. In a bid to help, the well person always says “Oh have you tried…” The rest of that sentence might include yet another rip off brand name, a herbal remedy derived from a strange place or creature, acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnosis, a witch doctor. Or all six.

f) At some point you have to admit exactly when you caved in to medical intervention and why. Oh, and of course, what remedy the doctor prescribed. At which point the well person issues a statement such as, “Our Agnes was given that for her athletes foot, didn´t work, but at least her toes don´t go septic anymore.”

g) Sometime later,, how long said remedy took to work, including any side effects.

h) The end date, how the recovery process progressed, and a get well diary of disappearing symptoms.

i) The whole subject may have to be re-discussed sometime in the future. Like for example when you´re the well person stood 10 feet away from the one who isn´t.

On the bright side, I can´t say as I´ve missed any banter of that kind…

¡¡¡  

Documentary finished, I can successfully announce that the photo below encapsulates a much more pleasant way to blow your head off than antibiotics do…

2015-11-05 17.48.42

€1.85 from Aldi…

Cheapskate?? What do you mean cheapskate?? If it´s good enough for Lord Castle, well OK. No, to be fair, it´s one of the wonders of the Euro, everything’s dirt cheap without being nasty. It tasted better than the 20 quid version we once bought from Tesco which had a distinct aroma of disinfectant to it. 

As a Brit, it doesn´t take long to realise that the old saying: “You get what you pay for” only exists in pounds sterling. Food here is far superior in quality and freshness, and costs A LOT less. Being honest, there´s only electrical items that are on a par.

So here´s a little taster of our huge shopping bill today, not a weekly shop but even so…

2 x semi-skimmed milk: 58 cents (each)

2 fresh salmon steaks:  €2.98

Mixed salad: 99 cents

Fresh grapes 500 g: €1.79

Fresh garlic bread baguette: 35 cents

3 litre washing liquid for washer: €4.50 [Lasts 3 months]

Bag of mixed seafood rice: €1.69

6 energy drinks: €2.34

Big bag of huge potatoes: €2.69

4 cans Strongbow cider: €5.56 (Imported)

And of course the Champagne, as stated: €1.85

Cranberry juice: 75 cents

Quality 100%

Oh dear, no wonder Tesco never took off in western Europe, Germany was the only place it tried – and failed miserably.

For us women, global name products such as L’Oreal / Garnier are much cheaper.     

Essentials in life like fuel, electricity, water, also cost a lot less.

Council tax, set amount: €125 (each), sum total per year = €250. 

Unlimited (fast) Wi-Fi and unlimited free international phone calls around €250 per year.

UK TV package, well, buy your own box, buy your own sat dish, and the rest is free. No charge for actually watching crappy programmes.

Oh dear, it must be like rubbing salt in a wound to Brits who know nothing of this, we didn´t at first. It takes a few shopping trips where you come home and laugh at the sheer amount bought, compared to the tiny sum on the receipt. Only then does it slowly start to sink in that this is real. Certainly an eye opener if ever there was one, and it continues to this day minus the shock and awe of it all.

So anyway, today we were well enough to drink Lord Castle´s finest, a couple of days after the first anniversary of life at home in Spain. But never mind, the cheapest champagne we´ve ever bought tasted like the best. As expected…

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