Being perpetually poor, we struggle from month to month. Living in Galicia is on the whole cheaper than the UK, but there are some things that are more expensive.
Telefonica have us at their whim. The landline charge is extortionate, and whilst the internet charge isn’t too bad, it’s still twice what it would be in the UK.
We can only connect to the internet through dialup, so it’s back to the 1990s for us. Oh joy. No more YouTube, no online BBC.
We could use mobile broadband. The problem is not just the cost, but the coverage. The Movistar (Telefonica) coverage is not good in the village. You can use a mobile, but only if the weather is fine and you can hang over the balcony, waving the phone at a certain degree.
Vodaphone has mobile coverage, but then it has no landline facility and so you end up paying more…yet again.
There are times when Galicia bites back. We were thoroughly ripped off by an oh-so-nice man who offered to sell our van for spares.
Someone bought it, came to our house after 11 at night to ask us to go and sign the papers, which we did and we, in our simple ignorance, assumed that they’d do the transfer as they arrived just as we were leaving the Officina de Seguros, etc.
However, no transfer was made. We knew that something was up when the road tax demand arrived in 2010, but the oh-so-nice man took it to the people who bought the van and they paid it.
Things move at their own pace here, so we (simple fools that we were) assumed that the paperwork was ‘in the system’.
This year, the road tax demand arrived and we called the oh-so-nice man who promised to help us fix it. He arranged a time to call and we waited. We still are waiting…
So we enlisted the big guns. The chief of the Preguiceiras got on the case and a long phone call later, all was ready to be fixed.
So we went to the Officina de Seguros and ¡que sorprisa! It wasn’t quite so simple.
The lady in the office phoned the man who bought the van and to our horror, we discovered that the van had got through its MOT (ITV). This was very, very bad news.
The van had failed its MOT in a very fatal manner and we were assured that it was dying and that there was no hope.
This meant that the son of the man who bought the car, was driving it around and in our name. If an accident happened, we would be liable. If someone was injured or killed, then we would be liable.
Are we hopping mad. Oh yes, absolutely incendiarily red-hot feet hopping mad.
We returned to the Officina and hit a wall of excuses.
This morning, we hit an even larger wall. Ast his problem is common and the solution is, to write a letter, complaining about the fault, stating that the car was sold in good faith and signed for. This letter is then sent to the Office of the Trafficos in Lugo and is placed on file and put into a computer list of reported cars.
Our latest problem is that the person who we need to complain about, is a relative of the lady in the Officina and she can’t help.
No problem. We will go to the Insurers in Monforte, where the owner speaks English and he will help, but it will cost more. Of course it will…
There are plusses and minuses to life in the countryside where everyone knows everyone else. This time, we are hitting the downside and it will cost us money to put things right. It’s better than the mandatory prison sentence, if the driver of the van hit someone. It would be nicer if the person, who bought the van for spares, actually did what they were supposed to do and didn’t deliberately rip off the Ingleses. ¡Carallo!