I see the Rumanian girls are back in town, offering their clipboards bearing the logo of some charity or other and a list of previous donors/suckers. When I told the one who approached me I didn't believe a word she was saying, she just smiled and said "OK".
I failed again this morning to access the internet in Vegetables Square, despite using a different mobile phone and a new security code. Then I noticed the site would be closed down this afternoon/evening "for maintenance". Which I took to mean that the bloody thing wasn't working. Maybe mañana.
I had more luck at the police station, where I got my new Certificate of Registration of Permanent Residence in about five minutes. Nah, you didn't really believe that, did you? The process is so simple it could be done in five minutes. Maybe ten at most. In fact, it took more than an hour and a half and involved a visit to three separate places. This would have been four - and a lot longer - if I hadn't had a foto of myself handy. Not to mention my passport. Veterans of Spanish bureaucracy won't be surprised to hear I had to provide the names of both my father and my mother. But not a statement as to whether they were dead or alive.
My real success this morning was in finessing the clerk's demand for the return of my old laminated Residence Card. Unlike the shoddy new piece of paper, this served as an ID card and I was determined to keep it for this purpose, as I don't fancy carrying my passport around with me. The card actually expired in February but I've recently found no one pays the slightest notice to the expiry date and so it's still accepted for the multitudinous occasions on which one is irritatingly required to prove who one is in Spain.
But to be more positive . . . Another improvement to Pontevedra (strictly speaking, Poio) is the opening of an Asian buffet restaurant in the shopping mall at the bottom of the hill, this side of the bridge into town. Given the conservatism of the locals (and its poor location), this will inevitably close. So I will visit it as often as I can, starting tonight.
For some - though not, I stress, for me - it's probably another improvement in civic services that the statuesque Nigerian whores at the roundabout at the start of the old Vigo road have been ousted by two slim young ladies in micro skirts and thigh-high boots. At least they take one's mind off the never-ending road works there.
Apart from Celta Vigo, it's been a bad season for Galicia's football teams. Pontevedra are certainly going down from the second division and Deportivo may well do the same from the first. They're playing as I write this and, to the joy of everyone around me, they've just scored. Keep your fingers crossed.
Finally . . . Back to politics. Here's Paul Krugman's take on the culpability for the financial stresses of the last two or three years - "It was the bad judgment of the elite, not the greediness of the common man, that caused America’s deficit. And much the same is true of the European crisis. Needless to say, that’s not what you hear from European policy makers. The official story in Europe these days is that governments of troubled nations catered too much to the masses, promising too much to voters while collecting too little in taxes. And that is, to be fair, a reasonably accurate story for Greece. But it’s not at all what happened in Ireland and Spain, both of which had low debt and budget surpluses on the eve of the crisis. The real story of Europe’s crisis is that leaders created a single currency, the euro, without creating the institutions that were needed to cope with booms and busts within the euro zone. And the drive for a single European currency was the ultimate top-down project, an elite vision imposed on highly reluctant voters."