Sunday, December 02, 2007

You may or may not be aware that the EU has plans to launch a competitor to the US GPS system. Or that it’s several years late and many, many millions over budget. But I bet you don’t know that only one of the 27 EU members has opposed it. At least until this week that is, when it finally got some more EU largesse to compensate for not having any of the planned facilities on its soil. So, who was this lone trouble-maker? Well, it can’t have been the allegedly eurosceptic UK, as you’d know about this from your screaming newspaper headlines. No, folks, it was Spain - quietly and steadfastly playing the EU game as well as she’s ever done. So, hats off to her.

At least here in Pontevedra, shopping in Spain is something of a hit-and-miss activity. Either they have the product you want or they don’t. As will be true the next time you go in for it, even if they’ve told you it will be in ‘next week’. Basically, the shop’s stock will reflect deliveries from the wholesalers; and no order from you or promise from the shopkeeper is going to interrupt this pattern. You just have to keep going back until you get lucky. Or change shop. This thought is prompted by the fact I’m now into my 8th week of visiting one of the town’s stationers for replacement pads for the expensive leather holder they sold me last year. But, then, If I didn’t value the more laid-back approach to life, I wouldn’t live here, would I. And no wonder I never set out on a shopping expedition in a spirit of optimism.

For any Spanish reader who wants evidence of the sort of publicity which leads to the tossing-animals-off-a-church-tower reputation I’ve mentioned twice this week, here’s a site which describes the so-called blood fiestas which purportedly take place here.

There’s news that China plans to make a major investment in Galicia in the production of wind turbines. A propos, I read this week the comment that “We’re closing down nuclear power stations and setting up wind turbines – energy which is renewable. Or at least subventionable. Thus do the poor pay to allow the rich to take advantage of the situation”. Surely too cynical by half . . .

For many years now, I’ve received offers of products guaranteed to enlarge a certain part of my body. In the last day or two, though, my unsolicited emails have majored on products which will enlarge my breasts in time for Christmas. It’s good to see that the otherwise contemptible spam producers have become equal opportunity operators.

Quotes of the Week

People may expect too much of journalism. Not only do they expect it to be entertaining, they expect it to be true.
Lewis H. Lapham

La autoironía es una de las formas elementales de la decencia porque casi todo es digno de mofa.
Javier Cercas


kindredspirit said...

I can understand where the EU are coming from with regards to Galileo but it's all money thrown away in vain because the market place dictates and that at the moment is GPS.

Anonymous said...

Galicia es poco taurina