Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Spain is Efficient

Yesterday, when Jesús went off to work he found the road cut off due to flooding and he came back to warn me that bus wouldn't be able to get through Mutilva.
So, I decided to go to a stop a bit further up. This was about half an hour after Jesús left and I took the camera to see if I could get some good pictures along the way. To my surprise, the mess had been completely cleared up and the bus was on time. Now there's efficiency for you. We had more flooding during the afternoon, and again workers came immediately to clear it up.
The point to all this is that not all of Spain is inefficient.

I am sick of reading blog after blog by expats from around the world (Brits and Americans being the worst) whining about lack of customer service, inefficient workers, and the laziness of Spaniards in general. I invite them to visit Pamplona and see how wrong they really are, we have excellent services, health centers, sports facilities, and things get done when people say they'll be done. For example, I recently ordered new curtains; I picked out the fabric and was given a date for 2 weeks later to have them installed. My curtains arrived exactly on the promised date, and this is not an isolated incident. When we ask for an appointment to see the doctor we almost always get an appointment for the same day, and I could go on and on giving more examples of how well things work around here.

Now I know this is one of the wealthier regions in Spain, and the government here spends its money wisely, and that makes a difference. In other parts of the country there is a generalized lack of organization, and lack of resources. After having spent a year in Málaga we could definitely see the difference between North and South, but things worked much better than I expected (especially after all the stories you hear). On the other hand, the more laid-back attitude you find in the South, while it takes getting used to, does make for a more relaxed lifestyle. Up here people are more uptight, and not as open to meeting new people, although once you get to know them they are very loyal friends. So, each region has its pros and cons, but one thing I can say for sure is that Spaniards are not lazy, they just have a different way of looking at things than in other countries.


  1. I absolutely agree with you on what you are saying about Spain. It is a great country to live in. The people are relaxed and very family oriented.Also from what I have experienced the people are polite and friendly, young people still stand up in the bus when an older person needs a seat and that is something you don't find much anymore. At least not in the cities in Holland.I'm sure there are also things that could be better but that is like that in every country. I for one am very glad that my granddaughters have a chance to grow up in Spain.I wouldn't want to have it any other way! Ofcourse Holland would be nice too but only because then I would have you closer to home!

  2. Wow, that was a lot of water in Mutilva. Hard to believe. I've only seen that river dry or with just a very small stream of water in the middle. I liked the pictures.

  3. Inefficient? I saw none of that in Valencia either. With reportedly 3 million people in the city for Las Fallas, the street sweepers were Johnny on the spot. And not to mention the immediate clean-up after all the burnings.

    Now, is it nationwide that everyone gets their siesta at midafternoon? Or is that regional?

    That was quite some flood!

  4. Yeah, it was quite a flood. People were saying that hasn't happened around here for more than 10 years. Most people are too busy to have siestas anymore, except maybe on weekends or when they're on vacation. Another thing lost to modern culture. Many shops still close at lunchtime, but more and more places are staying open to compete with the malls that are springing up everywhere (pity).