by Faye Davies
I try to boycott this poor excuse for a department store, but a few months ago I happened to be in El Corte Inglés getting some help with my tax return (a free service that I urge residents to exploit). Passing the make-up section with a softened heart, I decided to buy a mascara. Until I saw the price – which was a good 3€ higher than anywhere else.
Welcome to the Corte Inglés, where you can expect to pay anything up to 30 percent over the odds for everything. This might be redeemed by the convenience factor, if it weren’t for the sometimes surreal levels of rudeness achieved by its staff.
Every ex-pat I know has a Corte story to tell. My favourite takes place in the supermarket. A friend of mine was shopping for wine: he approached an assistant in the alcohol department who was stacking bottles and asked her where he could find a specific bottle of red – to which she replied ‘Ni puta idea‘ (mild translation: ‘No bloody idea’), before returning to her task.
Amy has some good things to say about the specialty food – but personally, I’d rather go hungry.