You hear it a lot, Mallorca reminds expats of the UK in the seventies. Our lifestyle here is definately not the same as Britain, particularly with consumerism. Some of that I long to change. I dream of spending a couple of hours in a big Tesco’s, filling up the trolley with all kinds of goodies at rock bottom prices. And I wish that the petrol stations were different too. I could buy a latte to go, pick up a sandwich and get some shopping in all at the same time as filling the tank of my car. Or at least I did wish petrol stations were different until this long weekend.
Mallorca petrol stations confuse me. It’s the etiquette of how you get your fuel you see. When you pull up a little man (normally) will scurry out and ask you if you’re a diesel or petrol type of car. Do you stay in your car and grandly hand him your keys, or do you get out and make a show of pumping your own gas (in a kind of, ‘we’re all in it together’ sort of way)? Do you pay them on the forecourt or do you go inside and pay there? Everywhere is different. If I’m in a hurry I don’t want to mess about, I want to pump, pay and push off. This is all very well and good if you can do the middle bit, the paying that is. Not so for team Neilson McLeod this weekend, we were stymied by our new bank. We have a new account, with actual real money in it, but no way of accessing it because the magic new pieces of plastic refused to work. Oh yes, we could look at our money, but we couldn’t actually touch it. But I only found that out when I was running on fumes and needed some diesel to fill up the ole Kangoo. No dinero? No way.
So gawd bless the lovely boys down the road at the Andratx petrol station. Due to many years of looking confused and mumbling apologies when I wasn’t sure if I could or couldn’t put the nozzle into the tank of my car I have gained (I suppose) a reputation for being ‘that dizzy bird’, or whatever the Spanish alternative is. So, pleading temporary poverty and much smiling and pointing later I was permitted to ‘borrow’ some diesel until I could extract my hard earned wonga from the bank. Somehow, I don’t think that would be allowed in the UK now, no matter how hard I batted my eyelashes.