For essentially history-related reasons, the Spanish have long been the most anti-American nation in Europe. So it’s a shame not many of them will ever read this article, which destroys the myth that social/welfare services in the USA are inferior to those in Europe. Turns out that, in several cases, there’s more on offer there than there is here in (socialist) Spain. Who’d have thought it? By the way, Prospect is a left-of-centre magazine.
As in most Spanish cities, Pontevedra’s train and bus stations are on its outskirts, within a few yards of each other. Meaning a stiff walk or a taxi ride, if you want to get to or from the centre. But at least the former gives you a chance to clock the wide range of shops now boarded up en route – not to mention the ground-floor premises not yet bought or rented out in the massive blocks of new flats near the stations. Grocers, wine bars, estate agents, furniture stores and several others. But no mobile phone shops or hairdressers as yet. I guess things will have to get a lot worse for these to start shutting, despite their large numbers. And my impression is there are more kebab houses and health-food shops than ever. Unlikely as this seems.
It’s reported in the local press that Galician students of English score better than those in most other Spanish regions. Given how badly it’s spoken here, I have to assume this is in respect of mastery of the finer points of English grammar.
Which reminds me . . . I went back yesterday to the restaurant which – among other bloomers – gave ‘Prat in Garlic' for Gambas en ajillo. I checked out the printing of the translation I’d given them. And found it to be perfect. Except for the one Spanish word on it. Pimientos de Padrón was given as 'Peppers from Pardon'. As so often in life, you couldn’t make it up.
Finally . . . I have a registered letter from the Xunta to collect from the Post Office tomorrow morning. Will this be yet another speeding fine? Or the half-expected demand for more transfer tax on a speciously high transaction price for the house in the hills I bought a year ago? Or will it be just a notification that the undergrowth is going to be cleared from the land near our community? I fear one of the former but will know soon enough.