Saturday, October 09, 2010

At a concert I attended last night, my seat number was Row 5, B14. Obvious enough, you would have thought. But, in truth, I had some difficulty finding it. This is because Row 5 – and all the rest of them, I imagine – was numbered thus:-
17 15 13 11 9 7 5 3 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
Now, there must be a reason for this configuration but I’m damned if I can think of it. I suspect it’s not so that – as in a British pantomime – the auditorium can be divided into halves so they can then compete with each other in a singing or shouting competition. So, anyone got a theory? Or inside knowledge even?

My apologies for the broken link to the Conguitos page last night. Here’s the right one. If you take a look at the fotos on this, you’ll see a couple of differences with the picture in last night’s post. The thick lips have disappeared from both the black and white kids. So, someone must have agreed they were offensive. The other notable change is the addition of a female child. So everything is now far more politically correct.

It’s commonly noted that Spain was not alone in having a property boom between, say, 2000 and 2007. This happened also in the USA, the UK and Ireland, for instance. But were these all of the same nature? Specifially, in any of these countries, are there people like me surrounded by developments in which 70 to 80% of the properties are unoccupied? Or, even after more than four years, not even finished? I imagine not. And that it’s been more a question of properties becoming significantly over-priced and then losing a good deal of their inflated value.

Which you’d think would have happened in Spain too, only more so - given that there are several years’ supply of new properties providing a huge ‘overhang’ in the market place. But apparently not. At least not if you believe the official figures. About which Mark Stucklin has this to say here:- “Spain’s official data for the housing market significantly understates the extent to which property prices have fallen. From what I can tell, prices have fallen more like 30%, though nobody really knows. . . . The Spanish government would be doing itself a big favour if it found a way to publish more reliable data. Doing so would avoid reports telling the world that Spanish property is still wildly over-valued when it might not be.”

Finally . . . It’s reported that the number of Spanish 18-35 year olds living with their parents is way above the EU average, at more than 35%. For the younger members of this cohort the number rises to 51%. And it’s even higher for males than females. Along with immigrants, Spain’s youngsters have borne a disproportionate share of the job lay-offs of the last couple of years or so. Presumably their ability to live with their parents helps to explain why a national unemployment rate of 20% has not yet led to rioting in the streets. Or even very much by way of protest. The young are effectively living off their own inheritances. Saving the government a good deal in the process, I imagine.

Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now net-published seven chapters of a novel which is “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” Set in a fictionalised Cuba, it’s being e-published at the rate of at least a couple of chapters a week. If this entices you, click here.http://theseconddeathofjuanlaroca.blogspot.com/


Eamon said...

Well no one has come up with an explanation about the seat arrangement and I can only assume odd numbers are listed under A(1st odd) and even numbers listed under B(2nd even).

grantc said...

From what I can tell it's for the reason Mike gives. Two concert/theatre venues I've been to in Valladolid organize the seats on a par/sin par basis. I can only guess it saves the hassle of knowing which door to enter or having to read the numbers on the doors?

On your other point regarding over production of housing, I don't think Spain is unique in this respect. The Boston Globe recently put together a collection of satallite photos illustrating the same phenomenon in Florida, see http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/09/human_landscapes_in_sw_florida.html. I wonder if anyone has ever done something similar for developments in the Spanish south?

Colin Davies said...

Ah, yes, thanks Grant. The doors are indeed marked A and B. But, then, they could be even if the numbers ran consecutively.

And Yes, only this morning I read about some huge development in a US city. Tuscon, I think.

Wouldn't be surprised if the UK were different, in terms of huge developments, now empty. But there were a lot of places built and sold as "Buy to Let", I think. Which may currently have no occupants.