Friday, December 20, 2013

Catalunian independence; Effects of La Crisis; More Movistar madness; Bloody Biggs; & Bars p.s.m.

If you're a little weary of Alex Salmond's fairy-telling designed to induce the Scots to vote for independence next year, then be happy you don't have to listen to President Mas of Cataluña, who's at least thrice worse. His latest oratorical flourishes have enlisted the anti-slavery and suffragette movements in his cause of freeing Cataluña from the shackles of evil Spain. Thank God that, given the record of his own administration, he's not in a position to label Spain 'corrupt' as well as evil.

In one way at least La Crisis and increased competition seem to be working effectively. Around the main square in the old quarter, the café-bars have woken up to the fact that there's not only more competition but also fewer clients. In one of these - famous for its high prices, nil by way of tapas and brusque service - there's been a massive turn-round in respect of all of these. And in another, which I patronise, the owner yesterday presented me with the gift of an umbrella. He probably had to wait for the 5 weeks of sun to end before giving me this but better late than never. OK, it sports the name Café Savoy and I'll be an advertising vehicle for the winter but what the hell.

I spent another half hour last night trying to get hold of my Movistar (Telefónica) bill on line, and eventually succeeding. In the process I discovered the company operates different email addresses, different ID documents and different passwords for my mobile and fixed lines. Ironically, the package I'm signed up for is called Fusion. Needless to say, I also discovered that I pay for things I didn't sign up for, such as '3-way', whatever that is. On to the next hurdle.

You may have heard that Ronnie Bigs died this week. He of The Great Train Robbery. He was a two-bit crook who ruined several lives but has been treated by the BBC as if he were some sort of folk hero. And both El País and El Mundo today carried long obituaries on him. Enough is enough, for God's sake. It simply isn't credible he was among the most important people to shuffle off this mortal coil this week. Though I suppose he does jive with the Spanish fascination for picaresque rogues.

Finally . . . I'll be spending my Xmas and NY with my daughters in the south, primarily in Sevilla. Boning up on the place, I read that "No other European city has so many bars per inhabitant." I suspect Pontevedra's old quarter could give it a good run for its money. At the very least. There's scarcely a ground floor there that isn't a disco-bar. Which is probably why few people actually live in it.


Ferrolano said...

There is one thing that I never understand with claims for independence, whether Scottish or Catalan is that the rest of Europe is trying to unite into bigger and more powerful group or union. So why do these regions want to splinter off into tiny “one man bands”? Perhaps just a power surge for the perceived big fish in the goldfish bowl….

Anthea said...

Erm, Colin, shouldn't it be Catalan rther than Catalunian? Maybe it's a political correctness thing.

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