Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I trawled the offices of all the banks in town today, in search of information on interest rates for term deposits. Not an uplifting experience. Firstly, there was little data available. Secondly, what there was gave no hope of a better rate than 1.2% for a 12m deposit. No wonder my bank was relaxed about me looking elsewhere; their offering is the best of a bad bunch. But the most telling feature of the exercise was confirmation that Spanish high-street banks still major on offering all manner of household goods as an inducement to opening an account with them, before locking you into a service considered by some to be expensive and of low quality. In the BBVA branch there was actually a single bed on either side of the queue for the tellers, complete with sheets and towels on each of them. More like Harrods than a bank.

My post yesterday was largely about fish. As it happens, I later saw a TV documentary which claimed the EU quota for blue fin tuna in the Med last year was twice what the experts decreed was the sensible maximum. Nonetheless, the fishing ‘community’ then relieved the sea of double the official quota. Or four times the recommended limit. Which guarantees that, by the time any effective points system is in place, there won’t be any blue fin tuna left to protect.

Last week I decided against issuing yet another warning to visitors and new residents that zebra crossings can be dangerous places in Spain. This was after a woman who had had plenty of time to stop drove between me and my more hesitant houseguest, when he declined to follow me onto the battlefield. But I’m stimulated to do this today, after reading of an incident in the nearby town of Caldas de Reis, when a petrol tanker hit a chap who was risking a crossing. In a wheelchair. Truly can it be said no quarter is given.

For those with an interest in the Spanish housing market, here’s a synopsis of what economics ‘experts’ think of it. And here’s Charles Butler’s interesting take on where we currently are with private housing starts and completions.

When Mike and I were in Ferrol on Sunday, there was a demonstration in Santiago in favour of the local language, Gallego, and against the policies of the new Xunta. Reader (and avid polemicist) Cade is anxious that I write something about this. But I’d better not. For it’ll only upset him if I say that my main take on the event is that the demonstrators don’t seem to appreciate how the democratic system works. Worse, many of them favour methods for the protection and development of the language identical to those previously used by Franco in respect of Spanish and dismissed by them as fascist and imperialist. All that (not) said, I do sympathise with those who want to see Gallego protected and developed. If only they could think of some way to do this without alienating an electorate which gave the local nationalist party its lowest share of the vote for decades in the last elections here. And I was interested in an article in the Voz de Galicia yesterday in which the writer pointed out that much of the language used by politicians and people who want to advance in one Galician sphere or another is not pure Gallego but a mixture of the two languages. As in the case of one of the demonstrators who criticised the government for trampling on the rights of the Galician people, but used ‘pueblo’ instead of ‘pobo’ for ‘people’. I imagine this must have really hurt our friend Cade, given that he seems to think everyone in ‘Galiza’ should be persuaded, one way or another, to speak pure Gallego/Galego. And also to shift themselves from the Hispanosphere to the Lusitanosphere. Fat chance. But one can dream. And comment.

Finally . . . Someone once said “Happy the country whose annals are dull.” If I were going to write anything on the thorny subject of Gallego v. Spanish, it would be something along similar lines – “Happy the region/country/nation which knows what it really is and has no language disputes.” Obviously not Belgium, then. For one.

8 comments:

kalebeul said...

If they want to speak Galician, they should go and live in the Carpathians, curse them.

[
Underused historical trivium for victimist loons: Auschwitz was more or less part of the Kingdom of Galicia.
]

Cade said...

" ... there was a demonstration in Santiago in favour of the local language, Gallego, and against the policies of the new Xunta. Reader (and avid polemicist) Cade is anxious that I write something about this ..."

Anxious? I just wondered at your silence, Mr Davies. I thought you had lost your interest for language issues. But you haven’t, so no need to mention my request, you still have that interest (I just checked your last posts). For you it’s only a matter of writing something to belittle Galician nationalists claims one day, using a pathetic and ridiculous argument for the ignorant, your main readership, and another day not writing about something really relevant that happened in the country you live, and not spurious, because it wouldn’t look good on Spanish nationalists, and thereon on you.

“if I say that my main take on the event is that the demonstrators don’t seem to appreciate how the democratic system works.”

They know, Mr Davies, they know how it works. They are practising their civil right to demonstrate. It is you though, who doesn’t know. It is you who hasn’t got a clue about how the PP government is vulnerating the law and bent in doing it further. I’m not talking about policy, but about law, about legality. Hence the demonstration. But you haven’t got a clue what it all about, because all you do is read George Borrow and that other British XIX century lady, and watch Sky one or the BBC or any other English thing. Some go to Costa del Sol and get drunk and sunburnt, others do as you do. Pathetic.


You probably are so ignorant and alien to Spanish and Galician culture and language that are unable to get any nuance in terms of peoples’ speech, but still hint at something true indeed: the poor knowledge and mastering of the language of the country across most of people. That’s the reason, precisely, to ask for Galician to be compulsory in at least 50% of school subjects (that’s the law, signed by all parties, including the PP - when in the opposition - which the current government wants to change), so every Galician can speak properly both their two languages (the original one, apart from the imposed) and spare the blushes of seeing politicians, pubilc servants, intelectuals etc semi-illiterate. Every Galician speaks quite acceptably well Spanish. If Galician is a language, yes, and official as Spanish, yes, then everybody should have the right to learn it properly, the same as Spanish, yes? Otherwise, scrap it as an official language, or “degrade” it to the category of dialect (which is not far from the de facto situation)


“I imagine this must have really hurt our friend Cade, given that he seems to think everyone in ‘Galiza’ should be persuaded, one way or another, to speak pure Gallego/Galego. And also to shift themselves from the Hispanosphere to the Lusitanosphere. Fat chance.”

Not really Mr Davies. Not a fat chance of me hurt or worried about it. I do my own choices and let people do theirs. And I give my opinion and question other peoples’. And when I see fallacy, sheer ignorance and prejudice, like in your arguments throughout, I say it. But above all, nothing irritates me more than arrogance. That’s why I am in your blog, because you irritate me with your uninterrupted ignorant dribble and arrogance.

Midnight Golfer said...

Have you looked into ING? - I heard rumored they can have decent interest rates.

wun hung lo said...

Mr. Colin gentleman he not stupid ignorant but try give you good advice. But you not listen him too much. I come here Spain 7 year ago and learn peseta. Now I learn euro and much history Spain. Spain very very nice place and country. I reading blog and learn now Galicia. Galicia good place to live but much unhappiness with peoples. Peoples go another countries make good living but not happy in another country. Mr Cade gentleman you not too much happy and give troubles to another peoples. Very bad not good for feeling. You now false man. Mr ointe gentleman he you friend and go with you make much trouble here. You not real Galego peoples. You put mouse on wun hung lo you see face of wun hung lo. I put mouse cade and ointe I see nothing. Confucius say man who hide in cupboard have no face. Confucius also say man who have snake tongue have two faces. Mr Cade gentleman and Mr. ointe gentleman make two faces. Mr Cade gentleman problem in you head not another peoples.

Cade said...

Mr wun hung lo, you are wrong about Mr Davies. You can not learn about Spain or about any of its countries by reading ignorant people’s blogs who learn from XIX century foreigners lyric writings, or by reading the Guardian or watching France News 24. Reading main Spanish press now and then, with a good Spanish-English dictionary to help, will not suffice either, as they all subscribe to a very narrow and biased view of reality. That’s the reason you are also an ignorant about Spain despite living there for 7 years. You can’t even write proper English, never mind Spanish! How can you claim to any opinion?!

If you were not a moron you would have realised that I have made some very concrete points to sustain my claim to Mr Davies ignorance and arrogance, but you, like him, have nothing to say about it, because you know very little, and probably share with him those tracts.

Forget about me, mr half-brained, take care of the right side of your own brain, and perhaps you will be able to come up with an idea, no matter how simple. Ideas, facts. My personality, my background, my personal life doesn’t come into the equation. That simple. I haven’t put up a blog to display publicly ignorance or arrogance.

wun hung lo said...

"I haven’t put up a blog to display publicly ignorance or arrogance." Mr Cade gentleman take opportunity and using Mr Colin gentleman blog for putting information. You much lazy man. My English not good but you understand. When peoples come my shop speaking Español I speaking Español. When peoples come shop speaking Galego I speaking Galego. Mr Cade gentleman you sitting on bottom all day not work. Today I making many sales and good business. Confucius say "Man who sit on bottom all day mess trouser" Confucius also say "Man who mess trouser hide from peoples". Mr Cade gentleman you hiding from peoples.

Cade said...

Mr Huan ho, why do you tell me all those things about your private life? Do you really think I am interested in the least? Moreover, did i ask you for adivice regarding my private life?

Take care of your shop, mr confucius said, and keep on learning galego. I'm sure by now it is better than your English

wun hung lo said...

"Yesterday, between 50 000 and 100 000 people came out to demonstrate in the streets of a capital city. Among them there were political leaders from all main parties, except from the Popular Party, as well as the Spanish minister of justice.

Does anyone know what was it about? And, not less importantly, in what part of Spain did it happen?

10:19 PM"

Mr Cade gentleman Confucius say "Man who put food to catch bird also catch bird poop". Mr Cade gentleman now you catch much bird poop!

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