Saturday, November 06, 2004

For the match in La Coruña on Wednesday night, Andrew had bought the tickets over the internet. He had been disappointed to hear that they were fifteen rows apart but had been told not to worry as no one respected the seat numbers. This turned out to be quite true, one significant reason being that all the numbers had worn off the backs of the seats. Just as well, really, as one of the nominal seats was at the very top of the stadium, behind a duct. From this eyrie, the only thing visible was the goal line at one end of the stadium. A snip at 50 euros.

In one of his blogs this week, Manoel touched on British cleanliness. This is because he knows that the Spanish regard my compatriots as rather dirty and he was looking for an explanation. He concluded that, as life in the UK is so much more frenetic, people just don’t have the time for housekeeping. Another reason is that fewer woman go out to work in Spain. Finally, many – if not most – Spanish middle class families can afford to employ a full time maid. As the supermarket notice boards are plastered with notices seeking such work, wages are not high. But I guess it’s different in Madrid.

Tower of Babel: An editorial in today’s El Pais pointed out that no one would expect Mexico or Chile to differentiate their language from Spanish at the UN and asked why Catalan and Valencian had to be differentiated from Spanish at the EU, especially as they are identical. Quite rightly, it pointed out that this madness could only weaken the acceptance of Spanish in the Community. Incidentally, the discussion of this subject has thrown up the fact that, in addition to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, each of several Autonomous Communities has its own counterpart. Needless to say, Catalunia and Valencia have one each, even though their tongues are identical. As does Galicia. Thank God there won’t now be an Academy of Geordie.

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