Sunday, July 13, 2008

I can’t decide whether the people who run with the bulls in Pamplona are brave or mad. Or just drunk. But one thing I do know is that some of them escape death – or at least serious injury – by mere millimetres, as the horns rip through their shirt or trousers. And I’d also hazard a guess – based on this morning’s run – that the worst places to stand are at the Curva de Telefonica or at the entrance to the bull ring. At the first of these, the bulls always crash into the boards there, adding the risk of being crushed to death to that of being gored to death. And at the second place, the bulls have to negotiate a severe narrowing of their path, nearly always impeded by a throng of youths.

Talking of Telefonica . . . . I see the launch of Apple’s new i-phone in the UK via their 02 subsidiary has been ‘a fiasco’. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer company.

There's a bit of a controversy raging here about the Supreme Court's decision to back a local council in the Basque Country on having streets named after members of the ETA terrorist group. This is a tough one but, on balance, I'd go with freedom of expression and let the residents decide whether they're with their local representatives on this or not. However, this is decidedly not the stance being taken by the right-of-centre ABC and El Mundo newspapers.

When you get to my age, you begin to notice certain correlations. And so it is that I can conclude 1. It's common in Spain for politicians to accuse members of other parties of a 'lack of respect', and 2. The people who most frequently resort to this accusation, are the first to hurl personal abuse when things go against them. Especially Nationalist politicians of whatever ilk.

Reader Moscow has provided this link into a report on the latest service/scam to be provided/inflicted on ATM customers here in Spain. I'm again reminded of how clever and how profitable Spanish banks are regularly reported to be, even in these straitened times. I did, however, receive excellent service when I went into my branch of Citibank on Friday to apply for a new debit card. I explained that it didn’t work in shops although I could still use it to get cash. The helpful clerk asked if I wanted a new version of the same card with the same PIN or a completely new card. I opted for continuity and elected the first option. Sadly, continuity is not what I got. Trying to get cash on Friday and Saturday, I was eventually told – at the 5th bank’s ATM – that my card was useless. Can it really be that my old card has been suspended while they process a new one and that the helpful lady forget to tell me this?

Galicia Facts

Galician pictorial tourism signs are said to be 'chaotic'. By the Xunta, of all people. So someone's going to be commissioned to replace them all. Which is nice work if you're enchfudo'd enough to get it. Personally, I've never found them difficult to understand. Which is more than I can say about the written signs in Gallego. However, I doubt we'll see these changed.

For those with an interest, the Viajero section of El Pais yesterday had a feature on Pontevedra. Not too misleading, if a little poetic and lyrical. Like Portuguese women, I hear.

It’s official – We may have had 30 degrees in the last week of March but, so far this year, the average temperature has been 5 degrees lower than the 30 year average. Which is a lot. Global cooling?


Aleksu said...

There is streets called Winston Churchill all over the world and he is one of the most infamous genocidal maniacs of last century, equal to Hitler and Stalin.


Colin said...

Good to see you still marching to the beat of your own drum.

mike the trike said...

aleksu... you will be pleased to know that there is a Stalin Road, Churchill Way and Roosevelt Crescent all in the same area in Colchester, Essex, England. Not certain if they will name one after Hitler.

moscow said...

It seems Santander has discovered British cutomers to be rather gullible....

David said...

The BBVA bank has gone one better. It gives you 5 seconds to choose NO and if you don´t, it defaults to YES with no option to cancel the operation.

This is the 5th time I have tried to post a comment, Google couldn´t possibly know I´m a Liverpool supporter could it

Colin said...

Yes, it is a unique service given to me by Google. But it seems to have failed . . .

Why am I not surprised at the BBVA approach??