Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, my second visit to Vodafone didn’t even go as well as the first. I could have sworn that the (inevitable) bit of information said to be lacking yesterday was the number of my contract with Orange but they insisted today it had been my bank account number. So, a third visit tomorrow. Though possibly to another Vodafone outlet as I wasn’t too impressed by the manner of the woman who dealt with me. Even if this was probably because I insisted on seeing the contract and ticking the six boxes about not receiving publicity and having my details sold on to others, etc. Which she’d somehow neglected to ask me about yesterday when I signed the form.

Over in the UK, 34% of domestic consumers think the economy is in a “very bad state”. Things are worse in Japan, where this view is held by 41% of consumers. And worst of all here in Spain, where the figure is as high as 63%. With only 5% seeing the state of the economy as being “good”. And this was probably before Sr Zapatero warned us about next quarter’s likely performance. Thank God we’re all on holiday so don’t have to worry about this until September.

Much public expenditure in Spain – quite possibly most of it – falls to the autonomous regional governments and the financial crisis and the recession have left many of these struggling to generate income and to raise loans. In this post, fellow blogger Trevor Ap Simon in Barcelona points up how the desperate measures called for by desperate times run counter to the ‘nationalist’ tendencies that were so much more affordable when times were good. It’ll be interesting to see how this dichotomy is resolved. Will Spain suddenly take a step back from its trajectory towards a pluralist ‘Nation of nations’?

A new bit of Spanglish – el balconing. This is the leaping from hotel rooms into swimming pools and it is, of course, largely the preserve of drunken foreign youths. Several of whom have killed themselves in recent months. So, not so much death-defying as death-guaranteeing.

Which reminds me . . . I’m not sure if the illegal funeral home next to Pontevedra’s main hospital was knocked down at 10am this morning, as ordered by the courts after 17 years’ deliberation. There were hints in yesterday’s local press of some sort of deal and today’s headline was that things would take time because of the asbestos used in its construction. I’ll have to check tomorrow morning.

Finally . . . Three transliterations of common English words or phrases that were used in an article I read yesterday about ex President Aznar and his English pronunciation. As they took me a while to work out, I’ll pass this challenge to you:-
- Qüiqúens (or Güiqúens. Can't read my own note).
- Zanquiú
- Jelou

2 comments:

jorge said...

Hi Colin,

I'll take a shot at the spanglish.

Quicken, Thank you, and Hello.

I've heard Aznar on American TV a couple of times and still don't have a clue what he said. I feel sorry for his students. Many decades ago I had a professor from Japan who sounded just like Aznar.
I passed the course however.

Regards,
Jorge
SF Bay Area

Colin said...

Hi, Jorge. Almost there. Weekends . . . .

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