Wednesday, September 01, 2004

There is a growing problem in Spain of teenage drinking - the botellón. But not violent. Just noisy and all-night-long. Some people have been driven to rather drastic retaliatory measures, like the sacristan of a Galician church who fired a couple of shotgun cartridges above the heads of the cacophonous youngsters in his churchyard. The newspaper report was remarkably sympathetic to him. And conspicuous by its absence was any mention of the need for stress counselling for the rapidly-dispersed revellers. Plus the sacristan was allowed to keep his shotgun, as he needed it for the ravaging wild boars. As opposed to the drunken wild bores.

Ah, the summer really must be over – one or two of the TV channels have re-instituted their early morning bow in the direction of serious programming. As ever, it is amusing to see that even intellectuals in Spain all talk simultaneously. Though at least they don’t shout and/or go for each other.

The 82 year old President of the Galician government - Manual Fraga – has again said that he will stand for another 4 year office in 2005. He stressed that he is doing this so as to avoid splits in the party and added that he will go on ‘to the end’. This must mean that he intends – like his ex-boss, Franco – to die in the job. Of course, there wouldn’t be any risk of splits in his party if he had made the slightest effort to groom a successor over the last 15 years. A cartoon in El Mundo today showed the national President of the party holding up a new party symbol – a pterodactyl fossil embedded in a slab of rock.

El top-less – the practice of bathing bare-breasted. By women, of course.

1 comment:

Robert said...

I'm not sure if I would classify the botellón as a growing problem, but it is definitely a problem. I remember when I lived in Cádiz back in 1998 & the chaos that the Thursday/Friday/Saturday night parties in the plazas would create. Besides the common complaint of not being able to sleep, it seemed pointless to argue with any Spaniard about it. It was their God-given right to party after 40+ years of Franco. You can see it clearly in Almodóvar's early movies in the 1980s.

But I take groups to Spain many times per year & things are slowly changing. I think the generation that started the botellón is now married with kids & are beginning to realize that maybe it isn't such a great thing. Case in point: the main square in Cádiz is now a wonderful place with grass instead of dirt & trash. And there are now laws in place in many of the comunidades autónomas against the botellón. Ah, but who will enforce it? It's an interesting dilemma for the Spanish... & those who live there!