Sunday, January 15, 2006

A footnote to my comment on the 500 euro note yesterday – Spain is today reported to have a black economy [or ‘submerged economy’, as it’s called here] worth 22% of its GDP. In the developed world, this ranks third - after Greece [28%] and Italy [26%]. One wonders how they arrive at these numbers and just how accurate they can be.

In Portuguese shops, one often sees the sign No Mexas. This comes from the verb Mexer and means ‘Don’t touch’. Portuguese and Galician are sister languages but Mexar in Galician means To pee. The imperative is formed in exactly the same way, which lends a whole new dimension to shopping across the border. Off the top of my head, I can think of only one such confusing opposite between American and British English. ‘To barrack’ means to support in the former but to jeer in the latter.

You’ll all be asking yourselves Well, did he finally get the bank credit card for which he had to send a photocopy of his identity card 3 times. And did he get a reply to his Nov. 17 email about the poor returns on his 3 year investment? Don’t be silly. I’ve decided to give up on the former and keep using my UK cards. As for the latter, I’ve sent a letter to the MD of the bank and await his response. Or lack thereof. Meanwhile, the internet bank with which I opened an account last week has got off to a good start by getting my post code wrong in its confirmation letter. Just what you need in a bank – a tendency to make errors with key numbers.

2 comments:

lenox said...

Then there's a fanny...

Theremon said...

Hi Colin. There´s a Galician word "Remexer" that means To Mix. I wonder it´s from the same root as the Portuguese "Mexer".

By the Way I´m giving up smoking.