Moments from the Costa del Sol - What a week it´s been !

March 31, 2021 - 10:07 AM - 292 views
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Hola Funky Media listeners, welcome to a another week of madness from the Costa del Sol. Hi, it's me Essex with this week's update on what's going on here and a few tidbits that have caught my attention from around the world this week. The restrictions that were lifted here has made it possible for us to go out in the evenings and I gotta say, I had a fabulous birthday night out with friends. We had dinner at 8pm a very civilised hour. It did seem a bit strange being out at night though after all this time but this provision has only been made up till April the 9th, when we'll find out if it will continue or if we will go back to the 6:30pm hours that we had originally. Meanwhile, things are hotting up around here in Spain and I don't mean weather wise. We are all puzzled by the new rules that are coming into play. Easter travel means people in Spain, cannot leave their regions and holiday in the coastal resorts but yet foreign visitors are allowed to fly in. The Balearic Islands are open and they're seeing more flights daily from Germany and France for the upcoming holidays, especially the summer holidays. Spain today is lifting its ban for the UK you can travel over to us but unfortunately, the UK is imposing fines on anyone that travels abroad, unless it's deemed necessary it´s a giant contradiction. You thought I was going to say something else and started with a "C" and ended with an "UP" then, didn't you ? How is it that tourists are allowed into the country, yet we're not allowed to leave the province of Andalucia ? I mean, even I wouldn't mind a small break in Majorca or one of the islands but of course that is forbidden. It just doesn't seem to make any sense. The mayor of Malaga said, "we're sacrificing our mobility to guarantee a safer place for those from other countries". I realised the hit we've taken to our economy here with the lack of tourism but this is just crazy. So many of us Brits that live in the Costa del Sol and all over Spain want to see our families and our friends after a very long year apart. and that seems to have been scuppered yet again with this latest news. We can't come to you and Boris won't let us know let you come to us. In fact, this year. The British are being encouraged to holiday in the UK and looking at some of the prices for families to holiday in the UK and I've been online and I've looked at places, Butlins and the likes. the prices for August are going through the roof. Some are costing more than a foreign holiday for a family of four, and for what ? A pool that you probably won't be able to use due to the weather conditions, you all know that, a bit of entertainment, maybe a knobbly knee contest, and not even an all inclusive package this is self catering !! It´s disgusting how these companies feel it's okay to take advantage of people during these unprecedented times, especially when so many have had it so hard for over a year and really need a break. For me that's just sheer greed.

Anyway, in the meantime, a Finnish woman was arrested here in Fuengirola station this week, for refusing to wear the mandatory facemask. She caused a 20 minute delay as all the trains had to be stopped. Apparently when the police arrived, she produced a card saying "Respect my right to not wear a mask",....which they did and after a violent struggle they escorted her butt straight to the police station. And while we're on the subject of face masks, great news for Gibraltar this week. They are lifting quite a few of their restrictions due to the significant drop in their incident rate. With very few active cases there, no one hospitalised or any elderly residents compromised. You will now be able to walk the streets and public places, mask free. In fact, the only time you need to put a mask on, is if you're entering a business or restaurant. so hopefully that's good news for that.

What a palaver in the Suez Canal this week. Last Tuesday a Taiwanese transport company, who by the way, has one of the world's largest container vessels and this particular one being nearly the size of the Empire State Building in New York, got stranded as it ran aground, apparently blown by a gust of wind. A 40 knots gust of wind but we'll get back to the wind. It became lodged sideways, which caused a giant backup for hundreds of other cargo carrying vessels that use that route too. They´re investigating to see if it was caused by human error. I'm betting it was, I mean, all right, we all make mistakes but to say a gust of wind blew a vessel that big with thousands of those big heavy containers on it. It must have been one hell of a wind right ?....... Actually, I did something very similar with my dad's car when I was young, I accidentally knocked the wall of our house down. Fortunately, there wasn't a mark on the car but I backed into the wall which caused the wall to give way. I told my dad, the wind must have blown it down and God bless him, he believed me. Anyway, they reported the wind being 40 knots, which is somewhere around 45 miles per hour. That doesn't seem that windy to me. I think my dogs got stronger wind than that. They've had to unload the vessel, I bet that was a job and a half, dig it out and finally yesterday they managed to get it freed up, and the sea traffic can now start moving again. I wonder how much that is going to cost us the consumer, because the data from Lloyds list showed the stranded ship was holding up an estimated 9.6 billion of trade along the waterway each day, that is nearly 7 billion pounds per day. Or if you really want to break it down, it equates to 400 million and 3 point 3 million tonnes of cargo per hour or an eyewatering 6.7 million a minute. Wowzer !! that is a staggering amount.

Police in Ontario, Canada this week pulled over motorcyclists because of a homemade licence plate. Not only was it homemade and badly painted at that, it had spelling errors on it too. I mean a what a numpty !! Sergeant Steve Koopman of the Kingston Police Service said patrol officers stopped the motorcycle, when they noticed the vehicle licence plate, didn't quite look official. Really ? that was super observant of the police. I saw a photo of the licence plate online and to be honest, it looked like a school project. He painted on the bottom off the plate, a slogan issued by the US state of New Hampshire. "Live Free or Die" but the idiot managed to spell the word free wrong, and only put F R E. Anyway, the licence plate has now been confiscated, along with the bike it was attached to. Police did say this was the second time in two weeks, that they've stopped a vehicle with similarly handmade licence plates, in the same area. Now, I think there might be a bit of counterfeiting going on out there, don't you ?? Seriously ?

And lastly a warning to all you lovely people. Please be aware of an ongoing scam that is going on out there and we're getting it all over. A woman has spoken up about how she was scammed out every penny she had, in the hope that her story would serve as a warning to others. A British student and she's called Emily and Hartley, shared her experience in a Twitter thread, you know that we all do and that's now gone viral. Miss Hartley moved 1000 pounds out of her account after a man claiming to be from Barclays Bank, called her. She said she first received a text message from Royal Mail, saying that she owed 2.99 In postage fees. Now, I'm sure some of you have seen these. The Royal Mail scam, which thousands have fallen prey to involves a text message stating that a user owes a settlement fee or asking for unpaid shipping fees on a package. I'm sure a lot of you have seen them, and deleted them hopefully. They generally send you a link in them to click on and without thinking too much about it and unaware of the scam, poor Miss Hartley entered her bank details. The following day, a man claiming to be for Barclays Bank called her and said that someone had tried to set up direct debits in her account, and had also attempted to transaction for over 300 pounds. Miss Hartley says the poser, the scammer posed as a bank employee, even took her through the security measures before informing her that since putting her bank details in the text, she had put her online banking at risk and she needed to transfer her money into a new account. He persuaded her to transfer 1000 pounds, which she said is every penny she had into the new account. So, for goodness sake people, I implore you to always check where those emails came from originally. Do not click on any links in them and if you receive a phone call, say from Amazon, BT, Microsoft, or any other service, it's a scam !! These people will never call you and they will never, ever ask for your personal information over the phone, and never, ever let anyone connect to any of your devices, especially nowadays as we are a more captive audience due to this pandemic and scamming is on the rise. I get it here myself in Spain. Please please warn all your elderly relatives and friends who may not be as tech savvy as you, so that we can all be safe from these blood sucking leeches.

Well mis amigos, that's where I'm going to end it today. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter, filled with tons of chocolates, eggs, bunnies and all of that. Until next week, Feliz Semana Santa. Stay safe, and as always, Hasta Luego from the Costa del Sol.

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