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This is Peter and Maureen Scargill's Spanish website. We live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarity, that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for more than 14 years and it is now our permanent base though we retain a small home in the UK.

Find out more about this by reading through the blog entries, menu-accessible pages and archives if you're interested! Welcome to Peter and Maureen's Spanish website.

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The Spanish Way

While there can be no doubt that the weather in Spain is a major driver for Brits to clear off to the sun, there are a lot of problems in this country that not everyone is aware of.

I’ll give you an example – today we went off shopping to Granada. As usual, shoppers in front of us using credit cards were asked for identification (they don’t seem to use chip and pin here) but for once we were paying cash – at Carrefour and MediaMarkt.  It may be we’ve always used credit cards in the past or just not taken too much notice, but not only did the operator at MediaMarkt open up the goods we were purchasing (presumably to ensure we could not claim that bits were missing – not that they’d know the difference on anything really technical) but EVERY Euro note we gave them was checked through a machine.

This is either the height of paranoia or they have some SERIOUS fraud issues – I can’t remember the last time in the UK I saw anyone run notes through a scanner. Apart from the time wasted while this process occurs it does not exactly give you confidence in the people around you in the shop – the assumption being we’re all a bunch of crooks!!??

Another issue I’m becoming aware of is that no-one seems to know how to mix concrete – and if they do they’re not letting on – all around us we see severe winter damage despite the weather here CERTAINLY being no-where near the disastrous weather we had in the UK this year. Concrete simply falling apart because of ice getting into it!

On electricity – well, there’s a fight we’re just starting. Voltages in our area as low as 170 volts not only causes heaters to run at less than 50% efficiency it also damages motors which stall due to insufficient power and damages electronic lighting already blighted by the unfortunate fact that retailers here seem to buy in the cheapest Chinese junk they can get their hands on. I plan on next visit to bring in plenty of electrical equipment from the UK where at least we have some standards! Meanwhile we’re planning to take on whoever is necessary to get something remotely like normal electricity. Anyone local reading this – please note we need your input.

More on this later and you can’t get away from the fact that it was WARM this afternoon while back in the UK no doubt folks are freezing…

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