A few thanks

Sometimes it’s nice to be able to say a few good things. It doesn’t seem to happen very often these days.

Firstly to the Alsina Graells bus driver.

We were travelling from Málaga to Algeciras on the directo bus which has one stop in Marbella.

Approaching Marbella after about 50 minutes, there was an odd smell. Some of us turned round to look at the other passengers. Someone, somewhere at the back of the bus was SMOKING. Which has been banned on Spanish buses for a few years now. And interestingly, although smoking is ingrained in Spanish culture, the ban is rarely transgressed.

We pulled into the bus station and whoever it was had stopped by then.

Some fifty minutes later, same thing again. Second-hand cigarette smoke wafting through the air-conditioning.

I wondered if it was the driver as I have seen the very odd few smoking. I looked in the mirror. He looked right back at me. No. It wasn’t him. He was looking for the culprit at the back of the bus. Then he clicked some switch and the roof light shot open.

“NO PUEDE FUMAR EN EL AUTOBUS!” he hollered down the bus.

Everyone turned round at this point. One very red-faced looking person ducked down, presumably to put out the offending cigarette.

Very good, bus driver. It may only seem like one cigarette, but to those of us who don’t smoke, it is not a cigarette we want to smell or breathe for five minutes or so. Good on the bus driver for not ignoring it.

Secondly to the Gibraltar Health Authority. I have finally motivated myself to get our official health cards. I took the forms in on Wednesday and I was told they would be ready on Friday. And they were. A very efficient and friendly service.

Thirdly to our local shops. Given the current fuel problems and strikes by lorry drivers there have been some problems in Gibraltar. Shortages of petrol and empty shelves in Morrisons.

Petrol stations started allocating petrol to Gib reg cars only. I think that is fair enough. Nothing wrong with people driving in from Spain to get cheap fuel here in Gib but when there isn’t much of it around, it’s good that responsible garage owners are putting local residents first.

I said empty shelves in Morrisons. When I went, the fresh vegetable shelves were empty (apart from turnips and kohlrabi). But when I went to my local veg shop, which happens to be a) nearer b) cheaper c) provide (IMO) better quality veg, there was still plenty of stuff. Nor was there a sudden hike in prices because there was a shortage of food elsewhere. Still for all those people who don’t speak Spanish and don’t want to go into small dark shops when they can just use the supermarket, I guess this type of shopping isn’t an option. Fortunately for the rest of us.

Anyway, thanks to all of you. For being thoughtful, considerate, polite, and in the case of the local shopowners for not taking the opportunity to profiteer by hiking up the prices in a time of shortage.


2 comments on “A few thanks

  1. I’m glad you had just as easy a time of it as we had. No evidence of panic buying, no long queues at the petrol stations. Granted their wasn’t a lot of salad and soft fruit in evidence, unless you knew where to go, but the only empty meat fridges I saw were in Lidl.


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