Tuesday, September 13, 2005

When I went to post a UK-bound letter today, the shopkeeper pasted only a 28 cent stamp on it, and not the correct one of 53 cents. When I pointed this out, she opted not to add a 25 cent stamp alongside it but pasted one of 53 cents on top of it instead. I couldn’t tell whether this was a good example of we-care-nothing-for-trifles Spanish nobilidad or just plain stupidity. And I didn’t feel I could ask. Being ignoble myself, I neglected to offer to pay for the redundant stamp.

The Spanish economy continues to grow at over 3% a year, in sharp contrast to Germany, France and elsewhere. However, a good part of this is said to be attributable to rapidly increasing business on the part of more than 500[sic] mafia groups operating around the country. The trendsetters are said to be the Bulgarians, Rumanians and Poles. So Spain’s entry into the EU hasn’t been one of unalloyed benefit, then.

On today’s morning gossip show, the item under discussion during my breakfast was ‘Who really is Sofia Mazagatos’s boyfriend?’. And this was being discussed with all the seriousness and intensity you’d expect from the respective protagonists of Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Albeit simultaneously and at the tops of their voices. Ms Mazagatos, it seems, is one of numerous women in Spain who are a celebrity simply because they won the Miss Spain contest several aeons ago. Her surname, by the way, means ‘Cat-smasher’. Some of us dog-lovers would kill for a name like that.

Which reminds me - we have a village near here called Gatomorto, or Dead Cat in Gallego. I wonder if it got its name from a failed attempt to bring in a cheaper version of bullfighting. Must ask.

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