Saturday, February 28, 2009

No sooner have I written that a coffee in Pontevedra costs a minimum of 90 cents than I find I can get a coffee, two pastries and a thimbleful of fresh orange juice at a place near the town hall for 85. And, this morning, I paid only 80 on the terrace of a café along the coast. Perhaps prices are actually falling.

Thanks, it’s said, to excessive regulation, the number of VoiceIP users in Spain is extremely low compared with those of other European countries. A mere 375,000 against 10.8 million in France, for example. I’m not sure this can be lain at Telefónica’s door but it still seems an appropriate point at which to report that, despite the recession, their profits rose handsomely last year. Who knows, perhaps one day they’ll be able to invest in the provision of lines in rural areas of Spain. Not to mention decent ADSL at reasonable prices. But I’m not holding my breath.

And speaking of that wonderful company, Trevor at Kalebeul passes on a tip on how to deal with the nuisance 1485 calls I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

Today there can be no campaigning ahead of our regional elections tomorrow as it’s a compulsory ‘day of reflection’. So, I bring you a picture of the PSOE poster showing the PP presidential candidate as the ventriloquist’s doll of the octogenarian ex-President, Manual Fraga.

In Ourense a couple of days ago, some clever wags managed – overnight – to replace these faces with those of the socialist candidate as the doll and the nationalist candidate as the ventriloquist. Which is an echo, of course, of my comment about the nationalist tail wagging the socialist dog for the last four years. And which we might get a lot more of over the next four. But, as I’ve said, this time round no PSOE voter can possibly be under the illusion that this won’t happen should the coalition stay in power.

And here’s the promised pictures of the parrot Ravachol, sporting a top hat that you might just be able to make out.
And here’s an example of the irreverent sort of thing that takes place in these early Lenten celebrations.


And, finally, here’s the scene late last night outside the BurgerKing place that opened a week or so ago in the old quarter of Pontevedra. At best, this is merely the one-off result of Ravachol revels. At worst, it’s progress.

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