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The Adjusted Normal, 58. Tuna Come, Tuna Go.

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Our daughter started work yesterday.She's worked before, though for short periods. One summer she worked a month as a door-to-door salesman for a mobile phone company. Needless to say, she never sold a phone plan, but she wasn't let go because she actually went to the apartments and rang the doorbells. Other young co-workers of hers sometimes sat at a café, instead. She left because it was a soulless job, convincing someone to buy something when she is against modern day publicity and battering to buy.Last summer, she worked a few weeks in August picking blueberries, and met people from different places of the world, some of whom she is still friends with. During the fall and early winter, she studied for the entrance exams to the Spanish Correos (Post Office), which she failed to pass by very little. Then, came the lockdown. At the beginning of summer she was between looking for a job or studying this coming school year. She decided to work and save up money to study somethin…

The Adjusted Normal, 57. Pay Up or Walk.

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This morning, I had to take my daughter to a doctor's appointment for a physical for her new job. Because of the devil virus, I couldn't wait in the waiting room with her and had to wander outside on the streets. As I started wandering around, I decided to go to the insurance office where our cars have their insurance policies. I just wanted to assure myself that there would be no problem with our daughter taking the car to work every day, since she has just gotten her license.I went in, explained, asked if she was covered under our policies, and the woman looked at me and said, No.
Uh oh. But, if she was a household driver, like my husband and I, surely it didn't matter if she drove the car. Would it?Yes, it mattered. It mattered to the insurance company. Because she is a novel driver, we have to pay a supplement for her. I sighed. How much? From five hundred on up. My jaw dropped. I think our yearly policies on each of our two cars barely reach three hundred. The woman e…

The Adjusted Normal, 56. Panem Without Circem.

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I am absolutely not a sports fan, except maybe for Formula 1 racing and the Boston Red Sox. I don't care who wins the Grand Prix motorcycle season, or which soccer team wins the Spanish Liga or the English Premier League. It really doesn't matter to me if Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal win Wimbledon or any other tennis championship. In a way, it's a good thing. I used to follow Formula 1, but, of late, it's impossible. A few years ago, the races were on general television every weekend. Now, they're on the Movistar television platform, which you have to pay for. Some bars and cafés may show it, but not as many as used to do so. Grand Prix motorcycle races are now on Dazn, an online sports channel that is not free. Many bars and cafés don't show these races because they would need to update their televisions and pay yet another invoice. Bye bye Marc Márquez. Spanish soccer is now on Movistar television, or Orange television, as well as on streaming services. Premie…

The Adjusted Normal, 55. Spring in My Head.

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The weather has slightly cooled here along the coast. Inland, it's another story, as well as the rest of the peninsula. There are forest fires, including one in the Xurés Mountains on the border with Portugal, where a fire fighting plane went down, with one crew member dead. It's August, and things are pretty much normal in that sense.But in the rest of the news, the first story is the virus, just like it's been since the end of January. Then, it's the ex-king and his odyssey from one friend's house to another. Now, he's supposed to be in Abu Dhabi. After that, some clips from Beirut and the enormous explosion that happened, thanks to a negligence that seems so common to Mediterranean countries, Spain included. That is followed by whatever is judged next in importance, depending on the channel and the owner's political viewpoint.Personally, this doesn't seem like any old August, however. Some mornings I wake up and it still seems like May, or June, at t…

The Adjusted Normal, 54. The Paper Clip Odyssey

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It doesn't matter if the world is coming to an end, or if we're all going to get sick and die. Bureaucracy will never end. This country's motto should be, "If someone else can do it, I don't have to."Two years ago (yes, two, 2) in February, I parked in the main square of our township overlong and without a blue disc. People who are going to park in the town can ask for a blue disc, which you can twirl around to let the police know what time you parked in a spot, so they can fine you if you've been there longer than an hour. If you don't have the disc, you get the fine, even if you've been there only five minutes.Well, that day I went to the bank, and the wait time was long. Unfortunately, I forgot to look out the window to check if an officious officer was doing the rounds, and they were. When I went back to the car, a little blue slip was under the windshield wiper, €80. After cursing the moon purple, I went home, and less than twenty days later,…

The Adjusted Normal, 53. Uncertainty Rules

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The number of contagions continue to grow, especially in Madrid and Catalunya. Most of the new cases here in Galicia are brought by tourists from there and other parts of Spain, sometimes from abroad. In the last instance, there was a Belgian couple who went to the hospital in Ribeira because they weren't feeling well. They had come in their caravan from Portugal, and had indulged in water sports in our area. But, they got up and left the hospital before they could be tested for Covid-19, leaving behind their ID cards. Police assume they left the area, and drove home, across Europe, spreading infection wherever they stopped and mingled with people.

Locally, some towns are being confined once more. Since a nationwide state of alarm hasn't been declared this time, it's the courts which can give permission now to do that. Around here, we know of a nurse who is infected and in quarantine, along with her husband. So far, there's no one else we are aware of. Still, cases are …

The Adjusted Normal, 52. The Fruit We Eat.

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Last Saturday the temperature rose to 44ºC/111ºF in the region of Murcia. That afternoon, a man was brought to the health clinic in a small town in a van, from which he was apparently let fall out. He soon fell unconscious. Shortly thereafter, he died of a heat stroke, and the medicalized ambulance that arrived couldn't do anything. 

The 42 year old man was Nicaraguan, and here illegally. He came to Spain to escape death threats, and tried to find work not only to eat, but also to send money back home, where he left a wife and children, including a newborn he still hadn't met. He had been recruited that day by a man, who was later arrested, to go work in a field picking watermelons. Given the expected temperatures, these workers were supposed to be told to work only until midday, instead of stopping at midday and continuing in the afternoon. But this man and his companions were not told to do that. 

Conditions at different farms are now being looked into. Workers are generally f…