Mecanicos!More nicotine, more tar and more of everything for much less money. It’s a win-win situation. Mecanicos are a very cheap brand of cigarets from the Canary Islands and the price for a carton is less then 6 euros. This means you can get an entire carton of cigarets for a price that is less then what you pay for two packs in Holland. Too bad (?, not really) I don’t smoke.

I am quite certain now that somewhere on this island tobacco plants are being cultivated. Of course I would like a little plant of my own, just to be able to see it grow. It find it I will need to be smart. To find anything on the Canary islands that is not directly aimed at the tourists you will need to use the social network. There is just no other way. I will have to ask some Canarians and see if my integration on the island is sufficient to provide me with a result.

Visit mom and dad

Alex and Kees - jan 2012!Alex and Nel - jan 2012!My mom and dad have come to visit us. Of course this is very nice and although the locals think its pretty cold the sunshine and the temperature of around 20 degrees did agree with my parents.

Spanish economy

Uncertainty!In the first quarter of 2012 Spain needs to save 8,9 million euro. The government wants to reduce the deficit and does this by freezing the salaries of civil servants and higher taxes on income, savings and property.

We have noticed the changes up close. After 5 years of loyal service you suddenly get a contract for a month. You should have had an indefinite contract after being employed three years. Your salary went down last year and this year it drops again a little bit, and suddenly you have to work on some Saturdays. The future is unsure and nobody knows what will happen. Uncertainty and rumors are everywhere. This is what is going on with the personal of hospitals in Spain. The government is cutting back on spending, and doing it rigidly. What will be the result?

Thy cannot stop all these contracts, because it will increase the unemployment rate a lot, and they will have to pay all these unemployed people (there is already an unemployment rate of around 20%). It’s true that an unemployed person gets less money, but his contribution to the economy is zero. On the other hand the uncertainty is resulting in a direct stop in unnecessary spending. A new car… lets wait a while ans see what happens. Slowly the Spanish economy is coming to a stop, and it will be quite a task getting it running again.

The Name of the Wind

Name of the wind!A long time ago I was given the book ‘The Name of the Wind‘ by Partick Rothfuss. It is part of a series of three books. After a slow start the book caught my attention and now I am driven to read more. Quite a read because the book has 662 pages but somehow the story managed to grab my attention.

In the book one of the main characters is telling his life’s story. I’ve read around a quarter of the book and his life went from one extreme to the other. I am very curious about the rest and need to start looking for the other two parts.

Cereals no, fruit yes

Fruit break!The little one is growing up very fast. Today he became 5 months. Two weeks ago we started adding some cereals to his milk. Alex gets a bottle twice a day when his mother is working. Clearly the cereals did not agree with Alex.

Last week we also started with fruit. First for three days we fed him teaspoons of orange juice and then little by little more juice. The orange juice was a bit acid, but Alex loved it. Long before the arrival of the spoon his mouth went wide open. After three days we added pear.. a slightly firmer substance which was also very popular. The most recent addition was some delicious apple.

3 kings 2012

3 Kings!The three kings have arrived again! Tonight there is a big parade and tomorrow everybody has the day off. Of course little Alex will get a few more presents if he’s been a good boy of course. In that case the kings will leave some presents this night that Alex will find tomorrow morning.