Monday, June 15, 2009

On British TV this morning a death from swine flu was described as the first in the UK. Here in Spain, it was referred to as the first in Europe. Different perspectives but both right, I guess.

Talking of news . . . The rather worrying lead story in today’s ABC was that Romanian gangs favour Spain because it’s “a paradise in which to carry out crime”. Allegedly, 35% of all Romanian criminals outside their own country are operating here, against a mere 30% in the UK. Spain, say the Romanian police, is seen by their criminal fraternity as a country of opportunity. But, as one could say this of any and every country, one is left wondering why Spain is so favoured as a paradise for crime.

And talking of the dubious transfer of money from one wallet to another . . . I see that the folk who collect the motoring fines down in Pontevedra are moving into a swish new office, round the corner from the present one. But I guess they can afford it. Interesting to see that – like the bus-stop-in-process – its glass window is engraved with relevant details. Either this is suddenly very fashionable here in Ponters or somebody’s relative has gone into this business.

Even during the boom years I found it hard to understand how Pontevedra’s numerous shops could all be profitable. Perhaps they weren’t. For a short walk through one of our galerias this morning revealed that at least ten of them are now boarded up. As is the (genuine) Chinese massage place, only opened last year. Against this, a new and expensive tapas bar in the centre of town appears to be overflowing with clientele. But ‘twas ever thus. It will be struggling next year, when the next in-place opens and the sheep-like pijos and pijas move on.

Of course, it’s often said that many shops in Pontevedra are just laundering facilities for the vast sums generated by the drug trade along our coast but I find it hard to believe this sector is suffering much of a downturn.

Finally, some excellent news for would-be creative souls. There is a gene (G-variant) which bolsters the creativity of some of us when we take alcohol. However, there’s a limit. “A drink too many and the soporific effect takes over, overwhelming the endorphins and sending even the G-variant drinker to sleep.” In my case, the G might stand for generosity, as my daughters claim there’s no comparison between what I’m prepared to spend when I’m sober and when I’ve had just one glass of wine. Which would explain why I successfully bid for 12 bottles of wine I didn’t really want after the cricket lunch on Saturday. Now, if I could combine generosity and creativity . . . Must try two glasses.


Charles Butler said...

Why's it a paradise? Dinero negro in the house strongbox, or the jewelery it's spent on.

Colin said...

Ah, yes. Thanks, Charles. Must be something different for the no. 2 'market', London. Perhaps all those merchant bankers confined within a small area. Low entry and set-up costs. And the only barrier to entry is slaughter by a Russian, Albanian or Bulgarian.

Ferrolano said...

When you said “Paradise”, did you perhaps mean “Fiscal” – let’s face it, it would be very unfair to expect the visitors to pay tax on their rich takings. And who said that crime doesn’t pay!

Colin said...

It was the term used by the Romanian police. I supect you're right that tax is foregone on these earnings. .