At last there’s a car park where that peculiar Spanish habit of opening the car door to dent the neighbouring car is almost impossible. Here each parking bay has an exclusion zone of about .6m either side of it. Now I park safely in the knowledge that no git is going to add dent number seven to our new little car. The car park is at Mercadona in Soto Grande which is rather posh, sorry, very posh with homes costing millions whatever currency is used, a huge marina with yachts the size of detached homes, a polo club and also the location of reputedly the top golf course in Europe – Valderrama.
I guess Mercadona executives got tired of being sued by angry owners of expensive yet
dented cars and reasoned enlarging the parking bays made financial sense. In any case it’s my supermarket of choice now whenever in the area. Recently our poor Fiat 500 had its aerial stolen. It made for scant consolation that whoever the drunken reveller was stole every other detachable aerial in the car park that fateful Saturday night. Meanwhile the ever reliable Ford Focus is yet to get a bump or a scratch.
It’s funny how driving habits differ across Spain; in Almeria for example it’s rare to be shown the courtesy of being let out of a junction even in stationary traffic Since noticing this back in 2006, often for fun I signal to let drivers out and normally a blank stare is returned, the courtesy rarely recognised even when I flash the lights and wave an arm. If they do take advantage a thank you is rarely shown. In fact one time I remember seeing a driver trying to exit the BP garage in Albox, as I was stopped at the red light I made some space and let the car in. This so enraged the driver of the car behind me, that he wound his window down to curse me and repeatedly hoot the horn. All this as we remained stuck at the red light.
Courtesy seems to enrage some folk it seems. When down further south, perhaps due to more of us foreigners on the roads, I see more politeness being shown with cars being let of out of side roads with a wave of thanks. Mind you there are also plenty of roundabouts and often drivers when going straight over first indicate left then just before leaving the roundabout indicate right so one is never quite sure where they are headed? It doesn’t help that the Highway Code in Spain instructs drivers to drive round the outside whichever exit is chosen. It all makes for good fun and beats playing Grand Theft Auto!
No Fly Posting is a common sign in the UK, in Spain the equivalent is Prohibido Fijar Carteles. Regular readers know littering is just one of my various bugbears. Lots of litter is also caused by those flipping leaflets stuck under car windscreen wipers. I lob them in the car to recycle later but others simply rip them off and drop them. If a leaflet goes unnoticed it later takes flight along the highway. These nuisances should be banned by local councils. It’s one of the most annoying forms of advertising known to man; I bet no one ever actually buys the advertised product or visits the promoted venue as we are all too annoyed that it’s on the car in the first place!