It’s pot luck what I will find in the forest when I walk the dogs between 10 and 11 of a morning. Yesterday it was a gypsy doing some fly-tipping from his van. Today it was a semi-naked couple in the back of a 4x4 who seemed to be shooting up, either before or after a bout of horizontal jogging. From the bang on the window when I innocently squeezed past – the vehicle was blocking the path – I think they had the effrontery to object to my being in the forest. Or perhaps it was a friendly greeting.
I was nearly hit yet again on the zebra crossing down by the bridge into town. This time it was because a white van was parked across a quarter of the crossing. But it had its emergency lights on and, in Spain, this means the vehicle is now invisible and so can’t be causing an offence or a nuisance. Or that the driver knows he is but simply doesn’t care. Or both.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve noticed how each of the Sky TV announcers [I refuse to call them reporters] has come to use a pronunciation of words such as total, battle, little and hospital which involves what I call a semi-glottal stop. I’ve theorised this is an outcrop of the dreadful ‘estuary English’ which became fashionable among the young a few years back but I’ve not been able to find any support for this on the net. Ironically, a visitor from the UK recently commented to one of my friends here that I’d adopted the Spanish T. This, of course, is nonsense; I simply pronounce it the way it used to be said in English, whilst he has joined the mob.
Talking to a Spanish friend who works in local government, I said how impressed I’d been to read the Vigo authorities had announced they would pull down a massive block of flats which included 7[!] more floors than permitted by the licence. He looked at me with incredulity, laughed at my naivety and asked me whether I seriously thought anything would be done. Why not, I asked. I’ll leave you to guess at the answer.
Someone has calculated that the proposed tightening of the traffic rules would mean 5,000 Galicians a year going to jail for doing 60kph more than the speed limit and/or driving at double the permitted alcohol level. But not for flouting the building regulations, I guess.