Wednesday, 6 July 2016

People watching at the bank and at the pool.

Twenty five degrees was what it said on the billboard at the bottom of the street at 9.00 this morning when I went out for a run. That's pretty hot for that time of day and says something about how sticky the night was. Not much cooling down there! 

After I had come back from my run and showered, I walked down to Travesía de Vigo to go to the bank. If I was going to have to walk about in the sun, I thought I would get it over with early. I had to pay the rubbish collection bill. Our landlady had received this, taken a photo and emailed it to us with the instruction that it could be paid in any bank. 

I tried it a few weeks ago at the big Abanca bank branch in town. There the clerk was very snooty and more or less snarled at me that I needed to pay it at the cash machine. Not with a British bank card and the ensuing charges, I thought. But Mrs Snooty was not prepared to give me any more information or help and I was in rather a hurry that day and so I gave up. We had until August 5th to pay it so it was no immediate problem. 

Next I tried at the Santander branch on Travesía de Vigo, again without success. It wasn't that they didn't accept payment; I simply couldn't get into the branch. The second, or possibly the third door just wouldn't open for me and I gave up in disgust. Judging by the levels of security at some of the banks here, the Spanish must be a nation of bank robbers! 

Anyway, this morning I went back to the Travesía de Vigo bank and got in without problems. Hurrah! As I waited to pay the bill (which I eventually did without any hassle at all) an elderly lady came in and asked if the clerk had found a pair of glasses. She couldn't find them anywhere. The clerk pointed out that she was wearing them. Well, not exactly wearing them. She had looped them into the neck of her blouse, something that she said she never ever did as a rule. At least she was able to see the funny side of it. The bank clerk said it must be the children who were making her distracted: the two grandchildren, aged about 6 and 8 by the looks of them, who were currently playing with the security mechanism on the inner doors, resulting in their being permanently open! Interesting! 

Later in the morning I went down to the pool to swim. I thought this was an ideal time to go to the pool as the sun was not yet at its fiercest. But almost everyone with kids must have gone the beach because the pool was pretty well empty. There were some young people (well, relatively young, probably late 30s, which is still young in my books) sunbathing in the area outside the pool, the area where you can smoke, and posing for pictures on their mobile phones. 

The photo-shoot amused me. In each case, the subject of the photo would get nicely wet under the shower and then pose at the poolside as if they had just been swimming. However, they never once got into the water. and they left the shower running! After a while one of the regular swimmers came down and had a longish swim before settling down to sunbather topless. 

Then a grandmother with a couple of children arrived and they took advantage of the relative emptiness of the pool to perform acrobatics in the water. The "abuelita" was very encouraging, giving the children points for their performance each time and assuring the little girl, her "princesita", that she was almost as good a professional synchronised swimmer! The little princess's slightly older brother was more scathing of his sister's performance, as big brothers often are. 

It's quite possible, of course, that there were few people, and especially few children, in the pool at 12.00 because it was it yet considered warm enough to be playing in the water. The doting grandmother did comment on how chilly the water was. 

Yes, it WAS cool, deliciously so!

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