Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Spanish press regularly berates the USA for not having signed up to Kyoto, even though emissions have fallen very slight there since the treaty was signed. In contrast, Spain is one of a group of EU countries which, as one commentator has put it, are emitting as if Kyoto doesn't exist. The others, by the way, are Italy, Portugal and Ireland

Talking of failed promises - we are in the final stages of elections in Catalunia. Given the participants are nearly all demagogic ‘nationalists’, this has not been an edifying spectacle. But the most interesting aspect is that the brave group fighting for the retention of the Spanish language in the region may well win a seat or two. Vamos a ver.

During October, nil work was again carried out on the [illegal?] building site in front of my house. In contrast, the Portuguese workers on the other side laboured mightily throughout the month, even during the 3 weeks of heavy rain. This may well turn out to be the shortest construction project in the history of Spain.

Finally, a little vignette which [I believe] clearly demonstrates what I recently wrote about Spanish manners. The action takes place at a car park pay machine where there are 3 of us – me, a man and a woman - waiting on a guy who is more interested in his mobile phone conversation than in mastering the machine. As he finally finishes, the man steps forward, only for the woman [who I now realise is his wife] to say ‘Darling, I think this gentleman was before us.’ Thinking I am a foreigner who doesn’t speak Spanish - a reasonable conclusion in Santiago - he replies ‘It doesn’t matter. There’s only one of me’. The woman casts a slightly embarrassed look at me and I say I really don't mind. The husband finishes and, now that I am on his radar screen, apologises profusely to me.

1 comment:

David said...

Regarding the almost suicidal commital of some 'Spanish' to form their own independent nation, I would urge the populace to think about the prose written by W.B Yeats with reference to Ireland.

To quote -

Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man: 'Ireland shall get her freedom but you will still break stone.'

In my view there is a lot to loose and very little to gain in breaking up Spain.

Nationalism rarely achieves Utopia.