After 1 year we will have 100.05 EUR, but everything we can buy just got 1.5% more expensive. A product that used to cost 100 EUR will, after a year, cost 101.50 EUR, and will not no longer be able to buy it. Even though we got 0.05 cents of interest we actually lost 1.45 EUR in value. Losing so little money is not so bad, but if you have 10.000 EUR in savings you will be losing 145 EUR, which is quite a lot of money.
The solution seems simple, buy stuff now, spend your money and use all those euros. Leave only a little bit on your account at the bank. Only for real emergencies it is worth keeping your money in your account. Another good thing about spending (and maybe even the reason behind the low interests) is that the economy will get a nice boost by the increased spending.
Something I quickly noticed in the Nederlands was that a lot of people were walking around with a Dopper. A very typical water bottle with a cup integrated in the bottle design. At my work I noticed that the bottle was present on almost half the desks. I decided I would also give it a try, and bought myself a bottle. This way I could join the trend and see if it was really all worth it, of if it just was another thrill of the moment.
I was happily surprised. It was quite a handy bottle, with a handy cup, a nice and firm design and a really good size. This was clearly something that someone had given quite some thought. Satisfied I returned home, to Spain, with my bottle. Once I was home it was obvious that also in Spain the people could appreciate the Dopper. In fact, I immediately lost my little blue dopper. This one was reallocated to Alex to take to school. Oh well.
At Alex’ school things quickly escalated. Alex was the man of the day, the first carrying a new trendy object. The actual trendsetter. Within days we received numerous requests for more bottles, and this time I’ll be bringing home 8 bottles.
One week ago we went to the center of the island and we collected almost 10 kilos of walnuts. They were early this year and we arrived before the rush, so we could collect quite a lot of nuts. The ground was covered and just a little movement of the branches made lots of nuts fall down from the tree.
The big advantage is that we will have plenty of nuts for the rest of the year. The disadvantage I noticed a bit later. It seems there is something in the nuts that is also used for those self tanning cremes. Some stuff that makes your skin nice and brown. The disadvantage of picking up all those nuts was that some needed to be peeled and taken out of their skin, and I used my thumb to do this. Now, one week later, after cleaning a big part of 10 kilos I still have a dark brown thumb.
I for one have never done it before. On the local fair there was an attraction where you need to hit a small iron thing with a big hammer. It is called “De kop van Jut”. If you hit it correctly a small piece of iron goes flying up, and the higher it reaches, the better you have hit it. The concept of this game has never quite appealed to me.
When Alex and I were checking out the fairground, a day before the opening, it was exactly this attraction that called for Alex’ attention. The attraction was still covered in some plastic, but after explaining how it worked Alex instantly knew he wanted to give it a go and it went first on his list of things to try. The concept of taking a big hammer and hitting something as hard as possible (or even harder) was something his fell in love with at the spot.
Eventually Alex took his first massive hit, the machine barely survived and all alarms went off and Alex loved every moment of it.
There is a clear trend of things getting automated. In our new car for example we never have to touch the light switch. If it is dark outside, or we are in a tunnel the lights switch on. Since a couple of days our floor is also kept clean by a robot. Not the well known rumba, but we have an iLife.
Our iLife is doing a good job at cleaning the floors. Every day she collects a tray full of dust and sand. Some days we fill her up with water and she also mops the floor.
Iedere week vijf euro betalen. Zomaar opeens, gemakkelijk via de telefoon rekening. Zonder dat je er iets voor hoeft te doen. Zelfs niet eens toestemming geven.
Zo ging het met onze telefoonrekening. Opeens betaalde we iedere week 5 euro voor nummer 900 814 644. Het bleek om een abonnement te gaan op ‘game-station’. Gelukkig (voor ons) hadden ze precies het nummer van Ana, en dat bleef niet ongemerkt. Na een paar telefoontjes kregen we het geld, inmiddels al weer 20 euro) weer terug. Toen bleek ook dat je dit soort nummers gewoon uit kan zetten. Nooit meer ongevraagde superdure nummers die je kan bellen. Vreemd dat dit niet standaard uit staat, maar waarschijnlijk komt dat doordat de telefoonmaatschappij er ook niet slechter van wordt.
Finally I found something at which I am very good. I was asked to do a BOMAT test, and my results very good.
The result summary was as follows:
Your result of 25 correct answers gives you a sten score of 10, which means that about 98% of the reference group achieved a lower score than you, 2% achieved a similar score, and 0% a higher one.
Although I’m happy with the result I still have to see is there is a practical use to all this. The test was quite straightforward. You were shown a number of figures which represented a sequence of evolution’s. The last image was always blank and you needed to select the correct one from a list op possibilities. Not hard in the beginning but it quickly became more complex to figure out the evolution that was displayed.
It was the typical spam message that notified us of some very cheap tickets to all over the world. Directly to the trans I thought, but Ana thought different. She started to look around and figure it all out. All the destinations around the world were quickly reduced to only a very few options. From Gran Canaria we could fly for cheap to Leeds and that was about it. Still, a round trip would cost us only 22 euros, so why not, we got the ticket.
Four days we were in Leeds, and it was cold and rainy, but we had a lot of fun. We took Alex with us and he loved the early norming breakfasts with bacon, and ofcourse the fish and chips.
In Alex’ class the parents have agreed to celebrate the various birthdays together. Whenever a couple of kids have had their birthday an invitation is send to all the kids. The party is always in some kind of factory specialized in kids birthdays. In Las Palmas there are a few of these sites and all use the same canvas. Entry, take off the shoes, playing, eat some chicken nuggets, play again, the birthdays kids have to sit on a chair and receive their gifts, unwrap gifts, store gifts in a big bag, play, final dance, put on shoes, receive a bag of candy on the way out.
These celebrations take three hours, and until now this time is adhered to very strictly. Three hours after the beginning you’re outside again. Something accepted happily by all, but still very very un-Spanish.