Wednesday, May 25, 2005

No rehearsal today, of course. But the filming on Friday is ‘probably’ still on.

A new experience this evening. As I was reading my paper before the Champions’ League Final, a woman came up and asked if I was Jose Luis somebody or other. Is this a foretaste of what will happen when the film is released? Anyway, as she wasn’t particularly attractive, I said I wasn’t.

When people die here they are interred within a day or two and the usual procedure is to display the body in the undertaker’s premises for several hours before the burial. My good friend Elena’s aunt passed away on Monday night and she and her cousin attended such a ceremony today. Both of them are Spanish but were born and raised in France and so are creatures of French culture. They were somewhat surprised to find that things bore far more of a resemblance to a social event than anything else, complete with characteristically loud, simultaneous conversation. But there was some light relief – as they were consoling each other during a rare quiet period, they heard the following exchange through the walls of the adjacent room:-
“So. How are your cabbages this year?”
“Fine. How about your carrots?

Another of my unscientific surveys suggests that we have moved into Phase 3A of seat belt compliance – almost all children on the back seats are now belted up whereas nearly all adults aren’t.

This survey was prompted, of course, by Sunday’s horrendous road crash. On Monday I described this as an emblematic event for Spain. I guess its British equivalent was the 3 sisters in Derby – aged 12, 14 and 16 – who had babies within a few months of each other. The mother blamed inadequate sex education in the school. And the state gave them 10,000 pounds each of someone else’s money. Car crashes caused by stupid driving occur in Britain but this sort of thing just couldn’t happen in Spain. How unprogressive the country can sometimes seem.

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