I touched yesterday on the subject of national stereotypes. Then last night I read a report of a new practice among the sort of British women who go Majorca for what we’ll call the night life. Now that you can get insurance against rape and will be indemnified immediately on the mere production of a police report, the number of false allegations to the Palma police has duly rocketed. Showing that cultural norms can be rapidly acquired, the latest case centred on the allegation by a young woman of Pakistani origin who claimed she’d been raped by not just one but five youths of similar background. Needless to say, such reports do wonders for the image of British women in Spain. I guess the popular term ooligan will now encompass both females and males as a handy media label for British youth.
Talking of the Spanish media, I can’t say I was surprised to see not only pictures of Pakistani grief in the papers yesterday but also photos of mutilated bodies and separate body parts strewn across the road. Something of a Spanish obsession, this.
Spain’s estate agents [realtors] took another large hit on the stock market yesterday, bringing their loss in quoted value this year to more than 43%. Apart from around my house, construction companies are reported to have stopped building new flats and houses so that the huge stock of empty properties can be exhausted. Since it takes at least two years to finish anything here, and since the market is at least static, this could take quite some time. And, of course, it has serious implications for employment in the construction section.
Another week, another large fine imposed on Telefonica for defrauding its customers. This time by illegally rounding up mobile phone bills in 2005. Institutionalised dishonesty, I suppose.
The Archbishop of Tenerife is reported to have said that some minors not only want to be abused but even provoke it. He then gave the helpful advice that one needed to be careful around these kids. Hmm. I suspect he will come to regret airing these thoughts.
Spain’s national carrier, Iberia, is running a large newspaper ad which features a tall signpost containing several forenames pointing in different directions. So, we have Nuria, Noa, Eva, Irene, Flavio, Gonazalo and . . . . Gladys. Nice to know this 19th century favourite - which would invite ridicule in the UK - is being kept alive here.
Finally, I’ve just received a card from Italy which was sent posta prioritaria but which nonetheless took fourteen days to reach me. I suspect problems at the Italian end, since international deliveries are usually very quick in Spain.