Talking to a Spanish lady friend the other day, I commented that a mutual acquaintance was bonita, or 'pretty'. “You mean guapa”, she replied, reprovingly. Meaning ‘beautiful’. “Well, yes, I do”, I said. “But only here in Spain, where to call someone just ‘pretty’ implies they’re plain. And where you have to use guapisima – ‘very beautiful’ – if they’re more than just pretty.” Truth to tell, such is the devaluation of guapa and guapisima here, I’ve heard the words applied to some remarkably ordinary-looking folk. Why, the girls in my favourite café-bar regularly call me guapo. But I suspect a touch of sarcasm in this case. And I do tip above the Spanish average. Which, truth to tell, wouldn’t be terribly difficult.
There was a survey of British schoolkids’ knowledge of World War 2 last week, with some interesting results. Perhaps the highlight was that 5% of them thought Adolf Hitler had been the manager of the German football team manager. Who presumably won a lot of his early away matches.
And, on that Teutonic note, I’ll leave you for the evening as I have a birthday to celebrate. Mine, in fact. And a night train to catch. Unfortunately not to Instanbul.
Well, I would have left you but I’ve just received this joke from my half-Gallego ex-stepson and, as he hasn’t written in his normal Gallego, I thought I’d share it with the Spanish speakers among you . . .
Un alcalde de una aldea del interior de Galicia recibe un telegrama urgente de Madrid:-
Movimiento Telurico trepidatorio, posiblemente 8 en escala RICHTER detectado en su zona. Localizar epicentro e informar alteraciones de flora y fauna.
Varias semanas después el alcalde responde a Madrid:- Epicentro fué localizado y arrestado. Ya confesó y está preso. Esperamos ordenes. Telúrico quedó muerto en el lugar de los hechos. El tal RICHTER y los otros 8 malparidos del movimiento trepidatorio se escaparon, pero ya casi los tenemos. A la Flora y a la Fauna, las echamos del pueblo por putas. No hemos podido responder antes porque tuvimos un terremoto de cojones.
If you don’t like it, I’ll send you his address . . .