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Sunday, 22 May 2011


Just in from the voting booth. Of course it wasn't a straightforward procedure with me entering a huge sports hall and going up to the first desk to be told that this desk wasn't for my district and to go over to the lady in the red which I did. The lady in red was lovely but her colleague got foreigner shock or if I am not mistaken was a bit miffed that a foreigner had the right to vote. He started grilling me on where my 'papelita' was and I asked 'what papelita?' thinking 'God no, there is some piece of paper I haven't received and now I will have to brace myself for chaos', and he said ' the papelita with your vote'. 'Well',  I said, 'this being Spain I thought I would have to prove who I was first and your colleague sent me over here so yadda yadda.' Maybe I am wrong but it is the vibe you know and his hands were trembling. A nice man came running over and explained I would first take a papelita of my chosing, you know the papelita with the party you want to vote for and I thought 'this is new, the last time I voted I put a cross next to a name'. I felt like some old bint without a clue as I perused the various papelitas representing all the political parties bursting out of a rack that looked like it belonged in a doctor's surgery. I found mine as it was also placed below the rack with two or three other parties who may or may not win. On my return to the urn I noticed one of the folk sitting there was wearing a big piece of card round her neck with the word CHA emblazoned across. Surely that's not right? Advertising a political party in such a blatant way on voting day? In the middle of May! Was the lady in red deliberately provoking me too I wonder? Anyway, the lady in red then panicked a bit and her shocked colleague couldn't find the other papelitas to let me procede with my vote. They kept repeating the words 'where's the one for the foreigners?' To reassure me all was well when they found it she said 'ca va' which is what people do here a lot as they presume I am French due to the French sounding surname I possess I suppose. As I left I thought that this kind of voting, taking a slip of paper from a glut of them and popping it in an envelope was open for corruption as well as confusion but then I wonder about how corrupt and confused my mind is to think such a thing.

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