It seems there were not just 2 but 5 deaths when, a couple of nights ago, 500 Africans stormed the fences around one of Spain’s North African enclaves. And reports say the deadly stampede followed shots from Moroccan police and that the 2 bodies on the Spanish side of the fence had bullet holes in them. Spain is reported to have appealed to the EU for help but Brussels has said there’s nothing they can do. So the army has been sent in to patrol the border. It beats Iraq, I suppose.
This is the time of year for harvesting the ferns and cutting down the eucalyptus trees in the tiny patches of land which Galicians notoriously own on the hillsides around us. Unfortunately, the industrious perpetrators don’t seem to be aware of Spanish cultural norms and stereotypes and have been switching on their strimmers and chain-saws at 8 in the morning. This is the equivalent of 6am in other countries and even early-risers like me are prone to be woken rudely from our slumbers.
I’ve noted before the Spanish are very informal unless they are extremely formal. This applies to clothes in particular, where ‘smart casual’ is nearly always the order of the day. But it still comes as something of a shock to see a [lady] government minister turning up for a TV interview in her jeans. But, then, this garment – being flattering and provocative – is the most essential part of almost every Spanish woman’s wardrobe.
And on this theme, I’ve also said before that the only serious TV programmes here go out around 9am in the morning, the equivalent of 7am by my rule of thumb. This is when most channels show a panel discussion on matters of the day, e.g. how long will it be before Catalunia sails off into the sunset. All of these are hosted by an attractive woman but you can tell the programmes are serious because these are in their thirties, not their twenties. And they all wear elegant blouses. I’ve noticed, though, these have at least one button more undone than would be the case on UK TV, with inevitable results. Perhaps this is necessary for the microphone to function properly. Then again, perhaps not.