Sunday, July 10, 2005

There’ve been more articles today lauding various aspects of the British response to Thursday’s atrocities. But these sometimes give off a tang of ground axes, as if the main purpose is really to criticise Spanish society [and one’s political enemies] rather than to praise British society.

And I have read this evening a long article from a journalist who insists the media has not just a right but an obligation to show gruesome pictures and report correct casualty numbers. I’m surprised he doesn’t recommend that huge TV screens be erected alongside the scene of horrific car crashes. Once again there’s a failure to understand that there’s no reason for the British government to suppress morbid pictures; they’re proscribed by British mores, not by the state. If the papers chose to print them, there’d be absolutely nothing the government could do about it.

If you live in Spain, you have to learn to do more thinking for yourself than you would in a more commercially driven society. This is hardly surprising; if people aren’t going to think about you, they certainly aren’t going to think for you. Here’s a good example from this morning:-
Do you have a room for the night of 9th August?
No.
How about the 8th, 10th or 11th?
No. Completely full all those nights.
Two hours later…
Just checking about the previous week. Do you have a room on the night of 3rd August?
Yes, we’re OK most of that week. And the week after the one you asked about earlier.
Why the difference?
Well, during the week 8th to the 13th there’s a big cycle race near here.

I was very surprised when I went down for my traditional Sunday squid today to find the old quarter virtually deserted. My conclusion was that most of the inhabitants had either gone to the beach or left for their month’s holidays. In fact, the ratio of foreign tourists to locals was higher than I’d ever seen it. I wondered whether this was partly my fault. Which reminds me – Sometimes I’m aware that a couple of obvious foreigners are looking at me and exchanging whispered thoughts. I’d like to think they’re saying, ‘Look, there’s the chap who wrote that wonderful web site on Galicia which brought us here”. But the sad truth is they’re more likely to be saying “Look, with his pink face, he can’t possibly be Spanish”. And this is after daily application of sunscreen factor 90. My only consolation is that my rosy-hued appearance doesn’t stop Spaniards regularly asking me for directions. Perhaps they think I’m a descendant of some rapacious British pirate. Francis Drake, even. I’ll go with that.

For anyone who wants to check the veracity of this paragraph, I’ve just added a photo to my Profile in this blog. Helpfully, I’m wearing a white shirt for added contrast. But please note that my eyes are blue and not red. Especially if you’re a rich Spanish widow or divorcee who finds blue eyes irresistibly exotic. I’m told they do exist.

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