Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It’s been a while since I stumbled on any new Spanglishisms. But I now give you:-

Un cross – A cross-country race. Not, of course, the name of the Beckhams’ last child.

Taking Ryan to the vet yesterday for his regular 12 year check up, I was accosted by a TVE camera crew seeking my thoughts on the demolition of illegal houses on a nearby gypsy site. Not wanting to appear on local TV expressing any views on these lovely people, I denied any knowledge on the subject. In fact, in the face of their persistence, I even disclaimed any understanding of Spanish. Ryan was extremely miffed he wasn’t even asked.

Coming out of the vet’s surgery into the waiting area, I found the three chairs were occupied by a young couple and their cat basket. As I stood there in victim silence, I asked myself why on earth I found it so hard to follow the advice I gave yesterday and assert myself in the face of something which appeared to be a good example of what foreigners see as Spanish rudeness. I finally decided it was because in Britain, where you're expected to constantly think about others, it’s effectively an insult to remind someone to be polite. And so you fear an aggressive response. In Spain, though, this is nonsense and no one would be upset to be prompted. In fact, there would be profuse apologies from people who’d only failed to notice you because they were chatting away. My elder daughter later pointed out it was logical that in non-assertive Britain people were, in compensation, expected to think about others far more than they are in assertive, ‘individualistic’ Spain.

I referred yesterday to rubbish collection developments in the UK and, separately, to the EU. I didn’t link them because there didn’t seem any reason to. But reader Mark Sparrow has pointed to a blog which claims the driving force behind the reduction in collections is cost-saving aimed at avoiding fines for not reducing land-fill needs. And the source of this is what the writer calls a ‘barmy’ EU directive, implemented by Britain’s gold-plating bureaucrats without any discussion in Parliament. If so, I think I can safely state this directive is not being complied with in a Spain which is rather more pragmatic about these things.

I plan to make my next compilation around the subject of Nationalism. Meanwhile, here’s the view of one Scottish writer on the variant that's about to experience electoral success in Scotland. To him, this is “Nothing but a romantic fantasy. A piece of self-pitying nonsense costumed as a matter of destiny”. Personally, I love the bit about Nationalists “spreading historical and economic disinformation to promote a notion of Scotland's victimhood”. This is an element common to all such movements, of course.

Finally, here’s the usual monthly list of odd searches that ended up at my blog. Quite a nice crop this time:-

can you put a quail with chickens?

Pictures of Couples Making Love [What quaint, old-fashioned language]

is it worth emigrating to Spain?

spaniards are nice

mr handsome spain 2005

sex in north west Spain

stupid galicians

bullfight she had orgasm [A German search]

Spaniards personality and physical traits

spain television breasts

And, lastly, a very intriguing search which leaves hanging the question of ‘During or after?’ . . . percentage of skin dying if you smoke when you have cosmetic surgery


Anonymous said...

Vote online about the future of Europe at www.FreeEurope.info. One liner: "Human development in its richest diversity" ( J S Mill)

Aleksu said...

I knew the Scottish had something to do with your hatred towards the Basques.

Finally, you came out of the closet.

Colin said...

Thanks, Aleksu.

I see your thinking is as deep as ever.