Sunday, 24 February 2013

Anger in the Streets - Smiles in the Aisles*

On Thursday evening, I reminded my friend Chris, who works in the centre of Madrid and where there is usually some type of demonstration, that there was to be a general strike yesterday and that public transport would most likely be affected. I have no idea how she hadn't heard about the proposed strike but she hadn't. So yesterday afternoon when I braved the bitter cold to go buy a few food items, it was I who'd forgotten about the strike completely until I'd almost got to the supermarket. Not to worry! It seemed busier than usual. I really didn't expect any violent pickets from past strike experience in this area. I did, however, think that possibly some of the workers wouldn't show up. If any of the workers were missing, I didn't notice.

 *The title for my post isn't original. I got it from the Economist (online edition 2 June, 2011). Sometime in the near future, the supermarket in my photo will be opening its doors, and its right across the street from me! Apparently from the information I gleaned from the Economist, and wikipedia of course, Mercadona supermarkets are to be imitated. The chain is based in Valencia (famous for its citric fruit) and uses the same 100 or so suppliers it began with. According to the Economist, since 2009 Mercadona has cut more than 2.2 billion euros from its products by cutting down on packaging, for example. Too much packaging is one of my pet hates, so this makes me happy. In 2009, it was rated the 9th most reputable company in the world by Reputation Institute as stated in Forbes Magazine. Not only does Mercadona offer cheap products, but must be one of the few companies that gives its workers a permanent contract, decent pay and decent hours. As I say, a company to be imitated. I know having it so close to my house will cause some problems like increased traffic, both car and pedestrian. My street is busy enough I think. Nevertheless, it will be super convenient and cheaper than other places where I shop. Another drawback I see is the harm that will be done to these places.

Last weekend, someone stole the time I usually spend on composing a post. Hopefully I don't get called out today. The weekends are when I get to relax a bit and do things around the house. Yesterday I decided I was going to take everything out of the bathroom and clean it from top to bottom. I usually leave jobs like this for when I have holidays. I thought why should I spend my whole time off cleaning. I found a partially-full can of hairspray for coloured hair and an unopened bottle of Avon bubble bath. These I'm giving to a friend. It's been years since I coloured my hair, so hope the hairspray is still okay. 

Nothing left to say, except hope everyone has a good week. Now I'm going to make some banana nut bread and will tolerate no interruptions I hope! 


  1. Glad to hear that the strike wasn't violent and that the public transit was still running smoothly:-) That's great that you were able to get your bathroom cleaned and organized. I shutter every time I open the closet that is my bathroom. No telling what I have in there. I need to do what you did and just take everything out and go over each thing! Enjoy what is left of the weekend!

  2. Oh, I think there was some violence. I read that 40 people, including some policemen, were treated for injuries and 45 were arrested, plus a rucksack with molotov cocktails was foud. Of course, all of this happened in the centre. I live a few kilometres from there. My area doesn't have a lot of big businesses. I'll find out on Thursday if my friend was able to avoid the demonstration. She probably had to walk home.

  3. What a shame that you have to worry about strikes and violence in the streets. It will be great to have a grocery store right across the street. How convenient! I seem to do a major clean-out once every two or three years, and am amazed at what has been shoved to the back of cupboards and shelves. It really should be done every few months....sigh. Right. Wishing you a good week ahead!!

  4. Less packaging and better treatment of workers - sounds good to me. The strikes are about the austerity I take it?

    1. Yes, this is the third general strike we've had in over a year. As for the supermarket chain, they have plans to open supermarkets in France, Portugal, italy and Belgium.