Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

It's a franchise

Murcia City has changed a lot over the years. It feels citylike now - it hustles and bustles. The first time I went there I thought it was a dusty hole. If I tell you I arrived in a friend's Lada Niva you'll realise just how long ago that was.

We were there yesterday and we wanted something to eat. The place is alive with tapas bars and trendy looking eateries. I quite fancied a place called Tiquismiquis (which means something like fusspot) or maybe Moshi Moshi (I don't speak Japanese so I don't know what that means) but by the time I'd found a bank machine we'd passed those places by and we were footsore so we went to a Lizarran instead.

Lizarran is a franchise. They have little tapas, generally bread mounted snacks, stored inside cooled display cases. each tapa has a toothpick driven through it. You bung a few tapa on your plate and when you're settled a server asks you about drinks. When the place is realtively busy they usually come around with additional hot tapas. Other things are available for order too but basically the fare is tapas on sticks. When you're done they count up the number and style of toothpicks on your plate and charge you accordingly. It's hardly cordon bleu but it's usually pretty acceptable and it's easy.

We considered 100 Montaditos as well. Cien Montaditos is also a franchise. In there you choose a table and in the centre of the table is a pen and a list of the montaditos which are basically mini rolls or sandwiches. You mark how many of which you want on the list and hand it in at the bar. They fill the drinks order straight away and give you a shout when your montaditos are done. Cien Montaditos is also usually pretty acceptable and it's easy.

Searching, as ever, for a blog entry it struck me that both were franchises. I did a bit of Googling and I was amazed how many everyday Spanish businesses are, in fact, franchises. It's not just the opticians, dentists, fast food chains, parcel carriers and quick jobs on the car businesses. One of the big supermarkets, Día, is a franchise and there is apparently a bread shop with over sixty varieties of bread - never seen one of those but it sounds good. There's another one that sounds like an equivalent of Wetherspoons with dirt cheap beer; never seen that either or I would still be there. But my favourite on the currently booming franchise list has to be a language school. If I were to work there maybe I could have a uniform and a zero hours contract like those people who work in the burger bars.

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