>A friend of mine wants to pay his phone bill monthly but they are not letting him to do so. Why? Because he is a bl**dy foreigner. I guess they ave asked him how long he has been living here and since he has not been here more than 3 years, they have refused him as a customer. Why did they offered this to him in the first place?

So I guess I’ll help him. Chris was right in that the electoral census is not there just to allow you to vote. First of all, I was asked if I am registered in that data base.

– And how long have you banked with your current bank?
– Not too long.
– And how long have you been living at your current address?
– 7 months.
– And in your previous address?
– 9 months.
– I need your addresses for the last three years.
– Well, I will have to give you about five addresses then.
– What?
[Angry explanation of what happens when you don’t own a house and your room is just one of your landlords’ many business]
– Do you have a UK driving license madam?
– No. I can’t drive. And if I could drive, I would most probably have a ‘Spanish’ driving license.
– I need your UK driving license.
– Oh well [assuming that the conversation is finished and the deal aborted].
– Do you have a UK passport then, madam?
– No, I have a ‘Spanish’ passport.
– Oh. Can I have the number please?
– I don’t know it by heart. […]
– But that is not a proper passport number.
– No. [again, assuming that the conversation is finished and the deal aborted]

But the conversation goes on and on and the deal seems to go ahead. The voice advises that her company will now check that what I have said is true and that I have never been bankrupt. What the voice doesn’t tell me is where exactly my registration in the electoral census falls.

I guess they do this because they want to make sure that, in case my friend does not pay, I am worth the hassle to take me to court. No worthiness, no contract. The value of a person in accordance with her assets.

When I tell this friend the kind and amount of questions I have been asked, I notice a look of surprise and guilt. I bet he is wondering what on earth my name is doing in the electoral census/registry. In fact, I wonder too. He abstains from asking, I abstain from answering.