An awkward situation yesterday
Yesterday I was allowed to feel what a lot of people started to feel more and more about 90 years ago.
As some readers will know, I regularly visit beautiful Spain. A country with sweet but wonderfully hot-tempered people. As soon as people didn't like something, they took to the streets in tens of thousands.
There is little left of that, although I speak from what I experience here. Elsewhere in Spain it may be different and there are indeed millions of people awake in this 47 million inhabitants beautiful country. This can be seen online and in the uprisings across the country. The media is silent about that.
Now I live in a medium-sized village with about 25.000 inhabitants. But despite the fact that the mouth cap obligation on the street has been lifted, you will not believe it, more than 90% just keep on wearing such a thing. I'm not exaggerating and it's awful to watch. You can't imagine that people obey that so en masse. There is no more “alegría” at all. The worst is the muzzled children.
Well, I have some good friends here from Belgium who luckily haven't been converted into corona zombies.
Now one fine Flemish friend asked me if I might have time to help acquaintances of his with opening a bank account.
They have bought an apartment here and in order to pay the monthly fixed costs, they need a Spanish bank account according to their lawyer.
No problem, I say. I like to do that and it happens very regularly that I help people with all kinds of things because of the language barrier. Little simple things can be a huge problem for people when you are in a country where you don't speak the language. Then they always know where to find me and I do it with pleasure.
That was agreed on Saturday. The people went driving from Belgium on Sunday and arrived here yesterday morning.
But that Sunday evening the light only started to burn for me: They're not going to let me into those bank branches!
Some shops, half of the bars and even one pharmacy are not difficult, although it is mandatory. I walk in everywhere. But bank branches…
Now I don't put on a mouth cap at any price. I didn't even try just to try.
No, not even if something happens to loved ones and I could only go back by plane for that, it won't happen.
I would do everything in my power to get there in a different way, but that just won't work. I can never turn back a prick in my body or a test. Afterwards, the loved one who also loves me will thank me for it.
Call me what you want, I won't. No masks, no tests and no injections. Then shoot me.
You have to adjust your life accordingly, but that's fine. What cannot be done on the street, we do online through as many small companies as possible.
The consequences I want to bear because if you give in and once the Good has defeated the Evil, then you get your job or certain privileges back, but you do have that poison in your body.
Back to the couch…
I should have stated this clearly in advance to my best Flemish friend so that he informed them about my attitude, because I had no idea what kind of people I would meet. If they know in advance how I stand, then that is clarified. I didn't and I didn't explain my point of view to those people myself via WhatsApp, when they were already on their way, because perhaps it is not necessary at all.
But hope that they are people like me or that they at least have an open mind. I thought.
But when I arrived on Monday morning and saw the couple from a distance, I knew it was exactly what I feared most.
The two Flemish people were the sweetest, most innocent and good people you can think of but… with 2 pairs of scared eyes sticking out above the sturdy mouth caps. fuck.
You prefer to run into less polite and nice people. If they address me about something then you can quickly say toedeledoki and equally good friends. But don't let these people stand. But explaining doesn't make any sense either.
I knew I was about to get into a very awkward situation.
Allee, in hopes of blessing.
As I walked over to them, I held out my hand jovially. The man shook my hand very hesitantly and the woman almost lost it. A very weak hand with the comment: "It still takes some getting used to for me, with that corona and stuff."
I say: "Well, let's get back to it quickly then to get used to.", or something along those lines.
There are 3 benches on the square and about 3 more nearby.
We tried bank number one where I once had an account. This is because they were the only ones who did not charge a commission for every act.
There was not a word of Spanish on the placards on the windows of the benches. “Mouth masks mandatory!”, it said in Spanish.
It was quite a small office. We walked in. I was completely unaware of the fact that only 4 customers could be inside the bank at a time. There were already 3 and I walked in with them. Three more. Then I sat inside with the couple who, like me, felt quite uncomfortable. Just for different reasons.
Just wait and look around. But you don't feel well at all, I can tell you.
You immediately notice that customers look at you and signal helplessly with their eyes to the bank employees that someone was just standing there without a mouth cap! Now it doesn't help that with 1 meter 83 and blond hair in Spain you stand out. The Spaniards are on average a lot shorter. I am not long in the Netherlands and Belgium, but here I am. Now they are used to that here because it is touristy but in such a small bank room…
I also saw a cleaning lady who cleaned the counter after every customer with that spray of which the cashier's palms were now clearly in and in white. Skin coming off or heavily irritated palms? I don't know but it didn't look fresh. She must (or wants to) clearly "disinfect" her hands after every customer. Because corona jumps from bills to bills.
Then it was our turn. The cashier looked helplessly behind where “the big men” from the bank were sitting behind their desks.
“You are not allowed in here without a mouth cap!”. I said I didn't have it. The fierceness with which she repeated it was simply scary. Like a maniac. People also started shouting from behind that I had to put on a mouth cap.
I asked in a louder voice whether there was really no one in this building who had the slightest doubt and sees that this is anything but normal and healthy.
Order is order! (Normas son normas) and “Go and see the hospitals!” shouted one of the men at the back.
Meanwhile, the Belgian couple did not know what happened to them. “Would you like a mask from me? I have one with them, she.”the man asked. I replied negatively and walked out. What a situation. They just hobbled after me.
You can say very little at the time because I know these people are terrified of “the killer virus”. I said it's my principles and I'm sorry. You can't say more. Pointless. They might think I'm an asshole for not putting that thing on.
My girlfriend is the same. She also will not be tested and will certainly not be injected. But she likes to do errands and shopping (women) and then she puts such a thing on but without pulling it over her nose. That's her choice.
Now I don't like to ask her for help, because I do cover my own beans with my mouth cap aversion, but my girlfriend would hit me in the head if I hadn't called her to help.
It took 10 minutes for her to get there but I feel like, with these 2 wonderful but silent people, it took an hour. Once I arrived, I quickly explained the situation to her.
She could then go in with them, only a translator was not there. But my girlfriend is smart enough.
I walked straight to a newsagent across the street. Its owners, probably wife and daughter, have not been involved in this nonsense from the start. No mouth caps, no cough screens. Just act normal. I almost wanted to hug them because inside I was cooking. Just had a drink there.
The couch: It went well and it didn't go well. My girlfriend was fine but it is unreal what the banks ask for information from you before they open a simple bank account for you.
You used to walk into a bank and if you said you wanted to open a bank account, they almost came with coffee and pastries. Nowadays it is only possible here by appointment and it really seems as if they wave you away. Finally we found a bank with a sympathetic girl who was willing to help. The dog (me) had to wait outside.
They needed to know how much money you were going to deposit each month. They needed to know the source of the money if you were to make a deposit. You must have a Spanish ID (NIE), with your European ID card or passport you can forget it. And what completely got stuck is that these people are not (yet) registered in Spain. The bank could not help any further and the friendly woman herself said that all banks work like this.
That's bizarre. An account, without a credit but only to deposit some money for the monthly debits is no longer just given.
So many people from countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and other countries buy apartments and houses here. A good thing for the country, I think. They also come here to bring some money. I wonder how they do all that these days?
So the mission was not successful. No bank account number.
We had a drink together and the couple were extremely grateful and friendly. We said our goodbyes, without shaking hands, and said that if they needed help translating something they just had to call. But inside I didn't know what I was doing anymore. Acting normal has become antisocial. What a sensation.
Today I received a message from the couple. A lawyer who arranges a lot for them, from Belgium, has found a solution for the bank account. I don't know how, but it seems to have worked. A weight off my heart because those people are in a foreign country. Although they often came here on holiday, this is slightly different than at the campsite or the hotel.
Recently, in some piece or article here, I mentioned that I would write how I manage a little bit here and also try to stay active offline and try to gather people around me.
Through social media I started looking for people from the village who also see through what is going on here and we have created a Telegram channel with four people. Through that channel we started to meet each other to grab a terrace. There are now about 20 people.
It's a breath of fresh air. We are all “civil disobedient”. We also have an agreement that we will take care of each other if there are fines and that we will fight them and see what the result will be. But the funny thing is that no one has even received a single fine so far. And they caught me a dozen times. The police seem to be very relaxed here.
When you come together you feel yourself getting stronger. You no longer feel alone in your thoughts and you also start to address other people. And really, you pick them right out. You see the people who are critical. Even though some do wear a mouth cap, the way they want to take that thing off as much as possible shows that they are also done with it, but that they put on such a thing purely because of the consequences.
What I never could have imagined before, has suddenly become normal for me. And maybe it's a tip that other readers and writers can also use.
Speak to each other. Grab people by the hand when you see that "it's one too". It functions. Sometimes you make a mistake and those are laughable situations, but I have long since passed that shame. Once you "catch" someone who is like you, you are instant friends. You found each other. Because you are all very aware of what is at stake, real disagreements are almost impossible. Simply because they don't matter if the Schwab future really becomes our future. So you have the same goal.
And such a group is expanding. And the village next door. Etcetera. And ideas come up.
We can only do something when we come together. Because, at least where I am sitting, only about 10% are awake, you are often automatically among the people who go completely into the story. But it does mean that out of every ten people there is one waiting for you to shake hands and make friends.
Message from this story?
I was a dick in the bank by acting normal and I make a lot of new contacts and friendships. Online and offline. And the second is good for yourself and good for our common goal.
Talk to each other briefly. Half a word is enough. Shake hands. We are all waiting for it. You there who sit alone among the sheep, there are hordes of people waiting for you. And you on them. Before you know it you have a whole group together and you feel like a real person again. In recent decades, we have been torn apart so much that addressing a stranger, even before corona, almost seemed like a crime. That while it is human nature to come together.
I think raising that 10% or 15% is on the rise, but we need to lend fate a hand and come together.
Little by little you will see the website change a bit. Someone had to open my eyes that the way I set up this website and wanted to improve it, was not the right way and should have outsourced it immediately. Some things disappear or are replaced. Everything will be a bit more logical and will already work much faster.