Strikes and Surprises

I went to see Dani’s new baby cousin Roberto the other day. He was born in the same hospital as Dani. Oddly I remembered nothing about the place. It all seemed new to me and yet just over 5 years ago I spent several days there.


One thing I definitely remember was the strike (huelga). Right now, the Madrid taxi drivers are on strike. They are protesting against what they see as unfair competition from online taxi companies such as Uber and Cabify. When Dani was born the local (council) bin men were on strike.

Just before he was due to arrive I took a couple of weeks off work. I definitely recall that the streets of Madrid had litter being blown everywhere. It was the same story all over the city including around the hospital. It was like a third world country. Really very odd. I suppose if we don’t like the term ‘bin men’ we can call them rubbish collectors or even sanitation workers if we want to be PC about it. But hey; there was rubbish and crap everywhere.

Arriving in Madrid right now my main problem is having to take the metro (subway/underground train). Hardly as bad. Having said that I do support the taxi drivers. They have a genuine point. They have to be fully licensed and pay for the right to be ‘official Madrid taxis’. It seems that these online taxi firms can get away with a lot less regulation. It makes a mockery of the so called “official” taxi system.

Similar strikes have hit Barcelona and other major cities in Spain. The problem is that this strike in Madrid has been going on for over week and there is no end in sight. People who support their cause may lose patience. Which brings me neatly on to another thing…

Life is full of surprises

Meanwhile; Dani’s nana came over last weekend and made a comment that was totally out of the blue. She said that she was really surprised how patient I am with Dani. I am not quite sure whether she was referring to Dani being hard work at times or if she meant that I was generally not famous for my patience. Probably the latter. I suppose I took it as a compliment.

She is not the only one to be surprised. I have discovered – much to my own surprise – just how much I enjoy reading stories to him. It is actually good fun. Well I try to make them fun. Let’s face it; some of the stories are not exactly exciting are they? Even the ones I make up myself are often awful. I doubt I will be reading stories on Jackanory an time soon. Is that still on TV? He seems to like them though and that’s what matters.

Back to the strike…

Which brings me ack to the taxi strike. We went to the airport to pick up his mum after her business trip to Australia. He asked why there were no taxis so told him the taxi drivers were on strike. Naturally he asked what ‘on strike’ meant. That was a difficult one to explain but after a few minutes of questions and answers he got it. Or maybe he gave up.

And he was so excited to see his mum…

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