Monday, August 17, 2009

I see that 23 people were injured during a recent fireworks display down in Elche, despite the fact that everyone involved (in a special enclosure) was wearing protective footwear and clothing. It put me in mind of a night in that city in 1970 when the local youths took great pleasure in hurling every sort of incendiary device at a group of terrified British girls. And anyone else, for that matter. There was no question of protective gear back then. Or safety in any guise.

And talking of change in Spain  . . .  the Health Minister has said that 70% of the population support a total ban on smoking and has stressed that Spanish society is now mature enough to accept this. Hmm. I have my doubts and we will see. Sadly, the filthy habit is still widely seen here as a symbol of sophistication and personal freedom. Unlike pissing against a wall, which only reflects the latter.

Still down south . . .  A divorce lawyer this week argued that his client shouldn't be denied custody of the children simply because she had a nasty temper. This, he claimed, was simply part of her (stereo)typical Andalucian character. The judge was not impressed. Though possibly amused.

At last something to moan about here in the UK . . .  Last evening in lovely Leeds, I waited 10 minutes at a bar while the couple in front of me had their 3-quid-each cocktails mixed (slowly) by the bartender. I then paid 10 pounds for two (quickly delivered) half pints of lager, a Coke and a glass of NZ white wine. Or 2.50 each, on average. This seemed a lot to me, though I suspect I'm rather out of touch. Primarily because my daughter laughed and told me they were cheap. But this is not my real gripe. What annoyed me was the attempts made to embarrass me (as if!) into buying a 'large' glass of wine:-
"Would that be a small or a large glass of wine, sir?", and later
"You did say a large glass, didn't you, sir?"

There, I feel much better now.


CafeMark said...

Coke is a big rip-off even in Spain. It must cost pennies to make, sells for pounds (or Euros), yet shows no sign of going out of fashion. A true marketing success story

Juan said...

I also have doubts about whether or not the Spanish would accept a total ban on smoking. Personally, I would be fine with it but then everyone I know would just be pissed off. I don't think this has anything to do with maturity level. I just think that Spanish society values its freedoms and is only willing to take orders up to a point. Then again, they might just accept it so that there's something else to complain about over a long lunch.

Midnight Golfer said...

I can't help it. I'm laughing to myself at how your comment applies equally well to Coke as it does to coke.

I've heard that most establishments, even fast food, make their profits from the drinks, whatever they may be.

Unknown said...

As I´ve said on other occassions, Spain is a country of extremes. This time, as regards tobacco banning from public places and much in a similar way to other restrictions, we tend to associate them (the restrictions) with a lack of tolerance or totalitarism of some kind. You see, there is this swaying again (from one extreme to the other) as we do anytime common sense appears.

Ferrolano said...

Being a “reformed” smoker, I may extol the virtues of not smoking, but I do not advocate telling or commanding others what or what not to do. I personally go along with the practice here in S Korea, where it is “no smoking” in the office work space and retail shops, but permitted in bars and restaurants. Designated smoking areas are normally provided at the work place for those who do smoke. I have also seen this same approach to be successful in other countries. Remember one thing that tobacco products like petrol, are in most countries, a cash cow for the tax man. Take that source of income away and he will seek other means of raising money, which may be from smokers and non smokers alike. Speeding fines for example?

I would question the Spanish Minister of Health and the figure of 70% who supposedly support a total ban on smoking, unless a prerequisite to being polled was to be a non smoker. Numbers can tell you anything that you want to hear!

Midnight Golfer said...

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
-Mark Twain