Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Huddling in Granada

The more evil the weather, the more meandering the blog entries. Because, realistically, what are my options on a brutally cold, viciously rainy night in Granada, one that's reminiscent of Cork in late November? I could huddle back at Madame Rosa's, exchanging hunger anecdotes with the emaciated Dutchwomen. I could huddle in my room and watch inane Spanish game shows, which seem to rule the airwaves until 9pm at least. I could take in the movie that's showing at the theater down the street. Oh, wait, let's see - it's a comedy, by Lars von Trier. Let me repeat that, in case you missed it. A comedy. By Lars von Trier.

Three words. Breaking The Waves. That Lars von Trier. You know, suddenly, updating the blog seems like a fine option indeed. So here I am, huddled over a terminal, bringing you the latest from bone-chilling Andalucia. Trust me, there's not a soul in here who isn't huddling right now.

Let me check my little Moleskine notebook (with a big shout-out to noted urban nomad and Moleskineer, Dr Heidi P!). What did I want to tell you this evening? I'll take Spanish bureaucracies for €800, please, Alex.

If you were thinking, uh-oh, here comes a tirade, think again! The tirade comes later on, and you will be given ample warning to allow you to bail out if that's what you would like.

Let me start with the Spanish postal system, or Correos. I have nothing but the highest praise for the fine bureaucrats who make this system work. Because work it does - in my experience thus far, flawlessly. I have mailed several packages to the U.S., a bunch of postcards, dealt with the post offices in both Seville and Granada, and have met with nothing but courtesy, efficiency, and genuine helpfulness. I realize even as I type this that it makes for a somewhat boring blog entry, but credit where credit is due. You have nothing to fear, gentle reader, should fate require you to take a trip to your local Spanish post office.

Warning: imminent tirade. Directly ahead. Beginning now.

Those of you who enjoy a good rant will be relieved to know that there is indeed another kind of Spanish bureaucracy. One that truly merits the clichéd designation "Kafkaesque". Old Franz would be proud of this particular bunch. But we must look to another writer to find words adequate to capture the true horror.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here

These words do not, to my knowledge, appear over the entrance to RENFE offices throughout Spain. But they should. (to be continued)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coincidence? I think not. Anong the headliners at the upcoming DC FilmFest is a Lars von Trier comedy. It's dubbed a smartly sardonic jab at corporate culture. If Mdm. Rosa's cuisine has driven you to the movies in search of popcorn to stave off hunger pangs, please advise whether one should pony up $9 for this film.