Friday, September 24, 2004

The basic problem with the Spanish is that they are both impressive and infuriating in roughly equal amounts. Noble but inconsiderate. Generous but selfish.

By way of illustration - my visitors and I today had the remarkable experience of a taxi driver who enjoyed chatting to us so much that he waived not only the tip but also part of his charge. A short while later, in an underground car park, we fell foul of a woman who couldn’t be bothered to walk to the ticket machine and so drove to it and blocked everyone else’s exit while she went through the payment mechanics.

If you are lucky, you get to see more of Spanish nobility than Spanish ‘individualism’. And this, I guess, helps to determine whether or not you appreciate the country. For me, perhaps the greatest quality of the Spanish is their belief that there are many things in life far more important than money. Capitalist that I am, I can’t rid myself of the suspicion that this is right. But, then, I first learned this lesson when I was 18 and teaching in the Seychelles. But that’s another story. If you want to know it, post me a request.

I have only one more bottom sighting to report – a young lady wearing a large O on one buttock and an equally large K on the other. Perhaps this isn’t catching on, after all. Sad to relate.

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