Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Cheating; Teaching; Fishing; and Driving
Talking of teachers . . . The wi-fi café I now use most mornings is close to a secondary college. Around 11.30 each weekday, it’s invaded by a large number of teachers taking their morning coffee break. Which lasts at least half an hour. Try as I might, I can’t imagine my teacher-daughter back in the UK being able to snatch more than for minutes for a coffee from a machine in the staff room. Let alone leaving the school to repair en masse to a nearby café. Different worlds.
The local papers this week have made much of the fact there’ll be 3.2 billion euros worth of work put out to tender in Galicia this year for the AVE high speed train link with Madrid. More than in any other region, ever. But, truth to tell, with the Ministry of Development having its 2010 budget significantly reduced, I’d be more than astonished if this actually happened. I’ve already shelved my forecast of 2018 as the earliest date we’ll have the line that was promised for 2012, even as recently as – you’ve guessed it – the last general election in 2008.
Spanish fishing fleets favour an area called Gran Sol. As sol means ‘sun’, I’ve always assumed this was somewhere down Africa way. But no, it turns out to be west of the British Isles. And the suggestion is that this sol is a corruption of the English word for a type of fish – the sole. I’m a tad sceptical, so can anyone verify this?
Finally . . . Reader Ferrolano wrote to say that the phantom crossing I showed the other day seemed to him to be rather dangerously located. Well, here are two more examples of how the admirable Spanish avoidance of excessive concern for safety sometimes leaves you wondering whether this doesn’t go a bit too far.
The first is of the approach to the crossing where I gave up producing statistics on the average number of drivers who stopped for me as I waited at the side of the road. I decided that, as the crossing was round a blind bend, this was almost certainly not a fair test of driver responses.
And here’s the same crossing from the other direction. True, if your eyes are sharp enough, you can see the sign on the right hand sign. But the crossing itself is below the brow of the hill and, so, hidden from your line of sight.
Talking of line of sight, it 's nice to know that the people who block it on both sides of this crossing will be the same ones prosecuting you for hitting any pedestrian who suddenly emerges from behind the rubbish bins on either side.