Friday, February 19, 2010

Anglo-Saxon dirty work; Adjusting to Spain; The Goose chase again; Sisters of the Smoke; Barmy Brits; and A Lovely Holiday Cottage

There was some amusement caused around the world – and even here in Spain – by the claims from the Spanish government that criticisms of the country’s economy were the result of an Anglo-Saxon conspiracy. Even though the Spanish seem naturally disposed to preferring conspiracy to cock-up explanations for events, it was a bit hard to take this nonsense from the President and one of his Vice-Presidents. But it was even harder to swallow the report in one of our local papers that the government had instructed the Spanish secret service to check out its suspicions. My inclination at first was to see the article as some sort of spoof but by the end of it, I’d concluded it was serious. But, anyway, here’s fellow-blogger Trevor’s amusing take on the affair, over at Kalebeul.

And just to show how fair I can be, despite my Anglo-Saxon origins, here’s an article suggesting the UK’s economy might just well be in a worse condition than that of Greece, never mind Spain. Thinking about it, I guess it’s possible it was planted by the Spanish government. In cahoots with the Greek government.

Talking of fellow-bloggers . . . Over at Notes from Spain, internet entrepreneur Ben Curtis draws a nice distinction – in the context of Spanish practices – between getting accustomed to things and resigning oneself to them. I like to think my own preferred phraseology – managing your expectations – is admirably neutral in this regard. By the way, Spanish readers should probably not read Ben’s post if they're sensitive to an Argentinean’s strictures on life here.

The Archives Saga – Part 5: Taking coffee this morning with my friend Cris before going again to the town hall, we were approached by a chap who identified himself as the head archivist of the city. He’d heard that I was playing Archive Pin-Ball and wanted to tell me what it was I should be asking for and where exactly it was. Need I say that this is back at the first place I ever went to? So, there you have it – If you want anything done, find out where the relevant funcionario has his or her morning coffee and take it from there. All that said, I shouldn’t get too carried away. I still haven’t seen any documents.

I don’t suppose there’s any reason why a nun shouldn’t smoke. Indeed, as nuns are invariably female, in Spain it might well be a precondition of entering an order. Leading to the adoption of not just one but two bad habits. I mention this because the café adjacent to the town hall in which I met Cris permits smoking and it was here that I witnessed the nicotinic nun. Rather to my surprise. Not to say shock even. Now, it’s right to point out that this is one of the times of the year when many irreverent Spaniards – often men – dress up as nuns. But this was 11.15 in the morning and I’m pretty sure the lady was the genuine article. Essentially because she met the other obvious precondition for being a nun in Spain – a height of no more than five feet.

In an article in this month’s Prospect magazine about the leadership mess in the EU, the writer points out that, in an effort to retain a role for Spain as the current rotating president of the EU, Sr Zapollyanna has “launched the EU presidency no fewer than three times”. Though there’s something of a suspicion here that this has more to do with distracting Spanish attention from domestic problems than in securing a position of power in Brussels. But, whatever the reason, it does make for good theatre. Which is about all the long-suffering Spanish voter has right now. Especially as a couple of international bodies have blown the latest bout (boat?) of government optimism out of the water. Mind you, these are primarily composed of Anglo-Saxons, I suspect.

Finally . . . You have to laugh. Having been complicit in the conversion of whole swathes of coastal Spain into expatriate ghettos, the British are now said to be disfavouring Spain as a tourist destination because “It’s not foreign enough”. Step forward Galicia!

Timely advertisement from the proprietor


Ferrolano said...

Colin, I think that your unfound or soon to be discovered office of the archives should be a location on a revised Monopoly board. And with the addition of a “Get a free document” card, you can really get into the spirit of document hunting. In fact, as I am typing this out, I am thinking that this could lead to a new board game – “Town Hall”, in which we could incorporate some of your findings and observations, such as; the speed trap, the telephone department, the pedestrian crossing, the office café and many more. The pinnacle of course being the office of the mayor. How about it?

Anonymous said...

Hello, mr davies, it's long time since i been here, just checked and scanned the last two pages of posts and very dissapointed at not finding fault with you. It seems you have decided to stop your pro Spanish nationalist drivel, I can't believe it!

Anyway, just to justify my presence, is ther any chance we have this lovely cottage's name changed? To sometnhing more, let's say, GALICIAN?

What about "Os carvalhos"?

Midnight Golfer said...

"managing your expectations" seems to more accurately describe the process that I am going through, as well.

But, as for...

mike the trike said...

There was the singing nun and then the singing postman. I see Galicia is offering us the smoking nun! Can she do tricks like blowing circles or putting the cigarette inside her mouth by holding it with her tongue? Can she smoke more than one at a time or make them disappear? You could be onto a winner here Colin if you sign her up.

Colin said...

Sorry, MG. I thought you lived in the hills, behind the coastal strip. It's only the latter I have problems with.

Colin said...

Ferrolano, Excellent idea. I will pursue it with whoever now makes Monopoly. Love the concept of "Get a free document" as the answer to all problems.

Midnight Golfer said...

I am on the coast, but this is why the internet requires more explanation and less assumption of what is meant.
By "what-ever" I meant as the southern California way of recognizing that the other person is demonstrably right, but the person saying "what-ever" still wishes to maintain their general lack of interest, I think the French called it ennui ?? - as if to say that they are "to cool to be bothered by mere facts"
Or even by convincing arguments of opinion.

Midnight Golfer said...

but on the inside are devastated by the truth of it all

Colin said...

Thanks, MG. Only just saw this because of the Google glitch I mentioned. Appreciate clarification as I hadn't wanted to upset you.

Search This Blog