A friend of mine who is fluent in French, Spanish and English went for a job this week, dealing with British customers. Although the English ‘test’ was a cake-walk for her, she was surprised to hear that her [almost imperceptible] French accent might count against her as ‘The British are very odd and don’t like talking to people with accents’. Given that her midday break will be 2 hours and that in, summer, the office will close at 2pm British time, she was also amused to hear the British ‘have strange ideas about Spanish working practices’. Where do they get such notions? “O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us.”
Work began again this morning on the building site behind my house so I assume that – as ever – all the little irregularities and illegalities have been sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction.
Talking of irregularities, the police in Badalona this week raided a flat in which there were 122 Rumanians crammed into a space of 60 square metres. Of these, 34 were said to be living in the ‘piso-patera’ or ‘boat-flat’. However, all but 16 of the 122 had valid visas, albeit for entry into the EU via Austria or Hungary.
In most Galician cities, around 60% of the population was born there. But this falls to ‘only’ 49% in La Coruña. And, yet, this is the city with the happiest residents. Can there be a connection? For one thing, it’s certainly regarded as the city with the highest level of cultural activity. They even have a Japanese restaurant, for goodness sake. Here in Pontevedra we used to have an excellent Korean restaurant but this was forced to close for lack of business, even though its main dish was the tempting Cod Korean Style. We also used to have an Indian restaurant but this deserved to close.
Not that you would know this from walking along any beach but it’s long been illegal to build within 50 metres of the sea. The Xunta has now announced that the new distance will be 500 metres. This is admirable but it might cause a few problems for those townships which currently fall 100% within this limit. We wait on events.