Visiting Portugal today, I noted that there, as in Spain, all the kids in TV adverts are blonde and blue-eyed, even if the mother is rather less fair. I guess the latter is meant to be someone with whom Iberian women can identify, while the kids resonate with their dreams.
It’s also very noticeable that all Portuguese commentators [and indeed quiz show contestants] correctly pronounce Anglo names, places and song titles. In contrast, in Spain these are often unintelligible. John Wayne, for example, goes by the wonderful moniker of ‘Khon By-knee’. But I suppose that, if you don’t actually know what his voice sounds like, it doesn’t matter a toss what you call him. I stress that I’m being descriptive here, not prescriptive. Spaniards are entitled to speak how they like. But I suspect the difference arises from the fact that it’s actually possible to go through 7 years of English lessons in school here without speaking a word of the language. As I’ve said a few times, the emphasis is on written grammar. Indeed, until recently, it was even possible to teach English without being able to hold a minimal conversation in it.
Spain has decided to ignore US protests and sell armaments to the Venezuelan dictator, Chavez. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, playing the popular anti-American card, says the only relevant factor is Spain’s economic interest. Funny, but when Tony Blair defends the cheque británico for, one assumes, similar reasons, the same minister accuses him of selfishly ignoring EU solidarity. But then circumstances always change principles. At least if you’re a politician they do.
I see hits to my blog are way down today. Can this be because all the exiled Gallegos in the USA are at home today because of Thanksgiving and so aren’t using their office computer? This is the hope I’m clinging to, anyway.
For new readers – If you’ve arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, you might find my non-commercial guides interesting – at colindavies.net