Friday, September 03, 2004

There is a Turismo office in the centre of Pontevedra. I’ve never thought about this until today but it must be part of a national network. This thought arose from a quest for a copy of a particular leaflet. At the Turismo office I was told that that they didn’t have one as it was issued by the town council. At the town hall they [naturally] said they knew nothing of the leaflet and told me to try the Turismo office. But I persisted and, down in the bowels of the building, was advised that I could get a copy from a wooden kiosk opposite the town hall. So, hard as it is to believe, this shack must be in competition with the Turismo office.

Back on the rather higher plane of Galician politics – the geriatric President of the Xunta/Junta [Manual Fraga] has clearly read my recent comments and decided to appoint two Vice-Presidents. I need hardly add that he has not bothered to give them any specific responsibilities. This, one supposes, would give them too high a profile and create some risk that Fraga might not manage to stay in office until he pops his clogs.

Talking of popularity, an American historian – Stanley Payn – has written that Basque nationalism is a myth. Or in his words… “In the whole of modern Europe, in questions of nationality, there is no clearer case of historical invention than that of Basque nationalism.” I assume our Stanley will be using a nom-de-plume if and when he visits the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Otherwise, he might end up as an exhibit. Or parts of him, at least.

Back to tourism in Pontevedra – the young lady who womans the council’s kiosk was interviewed in a local paper today and asked who the most exotic tourists had been this year. She cited Australians and New Zealanders. Not the adjective most Brits would come up with, I suspect. Especially in Earls Court.

Finally, it’s an ill rain that brings no good. Our delugial August has been bountiful, it seems, for the sun-bed businesses of Pontevedra. These have been overwhelmed by young women desperate to go back to work in September bronzed to the colour – and in some cases the texture – of a walnut.

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