Friday, July 29, 2005

In Spain, coffee comes in two forms – 1. basic strong, Columbian, and 2. even stronger torrefacto. The latter is double-roasted and fine ground until it is what John Hooper has called ‘the gastronomic equivalent of ‘Semtex’ [The New Spaniards]. As he says, the Spaniards’ addiction to this brew is ‘all of a piece with a nation in which there is very little that is bland, gentle or reassuringly soft’. Including the women, I might add.

In June, the national traffic police clocked more than 200,000 drivers exceeding the speed limit. Most of these were ‘only’ doing 140kph [88mph] but 240 were timed at more than 200kph [125mph]. One young man was photographed doing 165 [103] with his left foot out of the window, resting on the rear-view mirror.

An interesting statistic on the UK’s NHS - 31% of practising doctors in the UK were trained abroad, compared with 5% in Germany and France. I’d guess it’s between 5 and 10% in Spain.

Quote of the Day

The Koran is like a pick-and-mix selection. If you want peace, you can find peaceable verses. If you want war, you can find bellicose verses. You can find verses which permit only defensive jihad. Or you can find verses to justify offensive jihad. You can even find texts which specifically command terrorism
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, writing in the latest issue of The Spectator.

If anyone wants to see extracts of the Koran which endorse this comment, they can be found in the Scribblings section of my web page at Personally, I have long felt that the Koran could be used to justify a religion at either extreme of the peace/violence spectrum. Or anything in between. And therein lies the problem for those arguing that it’s an intrinsically peaceful religion. It certainly can be. And in most of the Muslim world it is. But it can be something quite different. And in some parts of the world it is. That’s why I believe only Muslims can effectively deal with the problem of what they tell us is false interpretation of the Koran.

1 comment:

marco said...

congratulations for your blog... you know, I was born in galicia and I really miss that land.

you´ll miss galicia too if you ever leave.

take care, marco