A View From Spain
I've been fortunate to have spent a lot of the wintry weather of 2019-2020 residing along the southern coast of Spain. Occupying a rented casa near the middle of an vintage city for an prolonged time, which necessarily worried engaging with locals, together with commercially with keep keepers and so on, gave me a excellent opportunity to study how every day monetary existence is lived in a place a ways from my New Hampshire home. To be clear, I actually do have a life out of doors of monetary monitoring, but for functions of this piece I'll focus on a small anecdotal evaluation between how human beings conduct industrial trade in a corner of Spain and in NH. To similarly set this up, note that I deliberately lived without a automobile and had no records plan for 3 months, relying rather on public transportation and WiFi (or wee-price as they cutely say there). These close to-monastic practices aside, let me inform you a chunk approximately my provisional Spanish place of birth. Fuengirola, a small metropolis of about 75K residents, lies along the Mediterranean coast approximately 25 miles west of Malaga, the large city in the ones components. It is within the self sufficient place of Andalusia (like a US nation), that is the largest of those self-governing regions in Spain. Given that it became controlled via the Islamic Moors for about seven centuries the architecture and lifestyle is a unique mixture of Christian and Muslim affects now not visible some other place in Europe. Andalusians have a recognition for being emotional and amusing-loving. I concur. What is most evident commercially is how old fashioned matters seem, as a minimum to a guy in his past due sixties. In NH of direction we get in our automobiles and power to large supermarkets and large box stores to purchase our stuff, or as is increasingly the case, we order things on-line and feature them shipped to our homes. But here, the small "Mom & Pop" shops are alive and apparently well. The sidewalks each day, besides Sunday, are teeming with humans doing their every day advertising and marketing of fruits, greens, medicines, garb, breads/pastries, alcohol, and lottery tickets (definitely big right here).
I need to admit that in spite of an obvious inefficiency with going to 1 store to your bread, to any other to your greens, and to any other for meat I enjoyed the quaintness and private contact of mastering the folks who worked those establishments. Levels of personal carrier always seemed excessive and I by no means felt rushed. Sure Amazon.Es and massive field stores like El Corte Ingles exist, but small brick & mortar retail is placing on right here quite well. The cafe culture of Europe is legendary and it is in full swing in Fuengirola. People take a seat with own family and friends for what looks like hours chatting over coffee and beer in the course of workdays and weekends alike. Cafes and bars are anywhere spilling onto sidewalks. The jabber is active and boisterous and leaves a Yank with the affect that existence definitely have to be amusing and lived with gusto. I should admit I've questioned more than as soon as, "How does any paintings get carried out around here?" But it does. It's a incredibly functioning, prosperous, and secure feeling network. Police presence is minimal. The Euro is the forex. And right now its value is best about 10% higher than america dollar. However, prices for most commodities seem lower right here. I'm frequently struck via how tons cost I'm getting for therefore little cash. Granted, gas is greater than in NH and I don't have a very good feel of the fees of strength and big-price tag items, however usual expenses seem less expensive in Spain. Also, this a extra coins-based society. My pocket frequently is weighed down with these heavy cash (a First World problem, I know). Sure human beings use credit playing cards and call pay apps, however coins continues to be quite regularly occurring.