Friday, May 05, 2006

No sooner do I write there’s no political will in Spain to tackle the appallingly open sore of prostitution than the Catalan government announces it’s going to regulate the ‘trade’. Among its proposals are that mega-brothels will be banned, cooperatives of maximally 12 rooms will be encouraged, and the ladies working there will be limited to 8 hours a day and treated as self-employed. The latter will mean them paying the €200+ obligatory social security payment each month. No wonder the Catalans are seen as being canny with money.

Right on cue, a report suggests about 25% of Spanish men between 18 and 49 visit brothels. Galicia is in the top three, at 30%. Of course, this is an artificial age limit; if it were raised, the percentage would surely significantly increase.

I used my newly-arrived TV-B-Gone to switch off the two TVs in my regular cafĂ© today. As expected, during the hour I was there reading the papers, no one even noticed. Not even the staff. One of the reasons was that it didn’t actually produce anything like a silence. There was a HiFi on as well as the TVs.

I’ve decided to institute a Saturday section about the worst driving incident of the week. As he does more driving than me, I expect most citations to come - like this one – from my friend Andrew. Driving to his bodega, he was passed by a car from one of our numerous driving schools. As ever, it contained the instructor and 3 or 4 pupils. In a 60kph area, it overtook him at 100 and then undertook a truck. Aptly, the school was named ‘Grand Prix’.

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