Happy 2012 to all that read my scribblings; I hope the news is not as full of doom and gloom as 2011. The Arab Spring, Gadaffi, Mubarak, Bin Laden, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Iraq, the list seems endless. Even Tibetan monks immoliated themselves; in protest against Chinese oppression.
The financial meltdown has made all of us non-bankers poorer. Since 2008 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers Bank, the finances of the Western World have got even worse. Emerging markets look on as the New World Order changes. Economies such as Brazil, Canada, China and India to name a few are getting richer and have cheekily been asked by the Europeans for a bailout.
Until recently the West as we are collectively known had fingers in pies across the non-developed world, for hundreds of years European ships brought back wealth from the ‘Colonies’ with little regards to the health and welfare of the inhabitants of where it all came from. Now slowly payback time is starting though the West will be treated more humanely than any slave or plantation worker ever was.
But fear not the financial markets still plough on; bankers get huge bonuses whilst the poor man in the street sees his house value plummet, his pension whittled away and the cost of living rises. Government after Government promise to make it all fairer but it never happens, the richer get richer and the poorer….. Well poorer!
On a happier note anyone living on a pension in Spain is enjoying a better exchange rate recently and the cost of living is much cheaper than for anyone in the UK. Eating out is much cheaper here; a Sunday roast for instance is much more sociable and handily comes without the washing up when had in a restaurant. And as long as Des is nominated then drinks can be enjoyed too.
I mention eating out as some restaurants are struggling due to a lack of trade; others have closed doors for the winter or for good. To enjoy our Spanish life to the full, we should all support the decent bars and restaurants that work hard to try make a living here. Every venue that closes is less choice for us all and more people out of work. Simple pleasures such as tostada and a coffee or fish and chips don’t cost the earth and even a top quality meal can be had for a fraction of the cost compared to Blighty.