Tales of power-mad and/or randy priests are a staple of Galician village life but you don’t expect to see them covered in the local press. Recently, however, we’ve been treated to the saga of a 75 year old priest in the border town of Tui who became a little upset when his Brazilian housekeeper was told her visa had expired. So he nipped down to the town hall and, in effect, registered her as his common law wife so she could stay in Spain. However, his bishop has taken this rather amiss and instructed him to rectify matters. And to attend confession, perhaps. You can read about it here.
Talking of humour, I see that a new magazine specialising in the Galician dark humour of retranca has just hit our newsstands. The first issue seems to be dedicated to the ugliness of much of the construction in Galicia, a well-deserved target. You can read about it here, in an article which says publication of the magazine proves Galicians can laugh at themselves. It rather depends, of course, on who’s doing the joking.
In the UK, where it’s now permitted to criticise ‘multiculturalism’, it seems things have gone even further and one is now allowed to discuss immigration and its impact on British culture. However, you must do this under the rubric of ‘population growth’, rather than ‘immigration’. Since the latter always appears high on the list of things that concern the Spanish the most, I suspect this bit of political correctness has yet to reach Spain.
En passant, this doesn’t seem like a good time to try to get anywhere by train in Cataluña. Responding to recent criticism of her apparent ineptitude, the Minister for Public Works insisted she wouldn’t resign as ‘Only cowards run away’. This, of course, is on a par with the view of the besieged head of London’s police, who said that he must stay on ‘to sort things out’. By the logic of these under-achievers, the worse you perform, the more you need to stay in your [undeserved] job. How convenient.
Talking about Cataluña, there was a nice comment yesterday from my fellow blogger, Trevor, who lives there . . . Apparently if you go to the Barcelona real estate trade fair and say you want to buy a parking space, they’ll throw in a free flat. If you can get a mortgage. (Of course the sector is not in collapse. That only happens in other countries.)
And still on this theme, it’s reported that A slowdown in the real estate sector may be to blame for the decision of a large developer in the Toledo region, known popularly as ‘El Pocero’ [Mr Drains?], to sell three of his private jets, keeping just his largest one. Tough times, obviously.
On my walk into town everyday, I pass Pontevedra’s Fine Arts School. The young women who attend this are just about the only ones in town who don’t dress in exactly the same uniform as their mothers – a pair of tight jeans and whatever top is currently the rage. Not exactly London at the peak of the punk period – or even now – but different nonetheless. And probably the only bit of teenage rebelliousness one comes across. If you discount getting blind drunk in the Friday and Saturday night botellones.
Anyway, I’m off on a short trip down into Portugal and Castile. I may or may not find a cyber café. So, until I return, my best wishes to anyone who shares my birthday today.