Home EXPAT COMMUNITY Week 36 uddate from Bill Anderson

Week 36 uddate from Bill Anderson


What is normal?

After 2 years of C0V1D chaos and the threat or promise,( I’m not sure which it is), of the New Normal, it seems that for a window, at least, the old summer normal has pretty much returned. Having said this, there are some who have decided to keep some  traces of the New Normal as it suits them better. Appointments systems: it seems you can’t go hardly anywhere without an appointment.

Gone are the days when you could just pop into the Council offices to pay a local tax because it just happened to be quiet. This was brought to my attention a few months ago by a resident who was passing the town hall without the usual outside queue, and he thought he would just pop in and pay his car tax. He had the necessary papers and was allowed in to the counter (without an appointment). The building was uncommonly echoey due to the total absence of customers. The lady at the counter politely checked his papers, checked the computer and confirmed the tax. “Do you have an appointment?”, she asked. “No I don’t, but I thought that as it was quiet, I would just pop in.” 

“I am sorry, but you will have to come back on Monday. No appointment, no payments.”

The said gentleman grunted and accepted his lot. The following Monday, he duly turned up for his appointment, saw the same lady at the same counter who swiftly processed his car tax payment. He left with a puzzled, if not frustrated expression unable to fathom why. I guess this is the New Normal. Frankly, I don’t like it. 

I can only assume that the New Normal involves removing the area of the brain that controls common sense. Can’t think of any other explanation.

At least the New Normal doesn’t include wearing a face nappy except where you need to wear one. We recently made a trip to Madrid by the AVE (High Speed Train). The wearing of face coverings was mandatory, except when you were eating or drinking. Some people seemed to be eating and drinking all the way from Malaga to La Tocha in Madrid with the mandatory face covering, looking a bit worn and dirty, hanging on their wrists or keeping their chins warm in the air-conditioned carriage. No warnings for them. But, the man with the rather bushy beard which constantly  pulled the said facial object down below his nose as he was speaking to his partner, was severely reprimanded several times and commanded to pull it up over his nose. His card was marked, and every time the mask police passed by, I could hear the gleeful look on his face at having someone to police. The New Normal.  I wished I’d had a spare sandwich and can of beer to offer the passenger to relieve his distress.

Whatever happened to the Old Normal? Probably consigned to the bottom of the abovementioned civil servant’s filing cabinet which can only be removed when the missing part of the brain is repatriated, but only by appointment, of course.

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