Saturday, June 18, 2011

In my desperate attempt to find some counter-Crisis news to bring you, I've identified another three shops that have opened recently:-
1. A delicatessan. Little passing traffic. Must fail.
2. A seamtress. Joins lots of others.
3. A party shop. Franchise. Great location. Should succeed, if only because it's managed by my lovely neighbour, Ester.

Another trip to Vodafone today, to ask again about the 6 euros cuota, before signing up to the XS6 service. This time I was told it's not relevant because 'it's something internal to Vodafone'. But an hour later I noticed this sentence in small print at the bottom of the ads in today's papers- "Cuota 7.08€/mes con consumo minimo de 10.62€/mes (cuota computada)". Suspecting this endorses my suspicion that your actual spend will be added to the cuota, I went down to the shop this evening (armed again with my digital recorder), only to find it wasn't open. So, I'll be there first thing Monday morning to ask what my bill will be in three different cases. One day I'll get to the truth. Let's hope it's before I need to go to the Consumo again.

Talking of truth  . . . At the Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus) celebrations in Poio yesterday, the chap who gave the opening address asserted that anyone who denied the great navigator came from these parts either knew nothing about him or was 'lying like a Genoan'. Anyway, the fiesta continues tonight and tomorrow night and will be a long-standing tradition by, say, 2018.

Talking of 2018, I think this is my forecast for the start-up of the AVE high speed train between Galicia and Madrid. Against this, the 'hybrid' train which will eventually run on the tracks is being tested here. If this is an attempt to convince us the original deadline of 2012 will be met, then it's giving us all a good laugh.

My good friend Alfred B Mittington is very averse to the bullfight. I believe this is because he finds totally unacceptable any cruelty to animals inflicted for the gratuitous pleasure of man. Against this, he smokes quite heavily. Yes, dear reader, this means that he thinks more of dumb animals than he does of his very clever self. Which is to be admired, I guess. But I imagine he'll have a view on this . . .

I bemoan the absence of consumer-orientated sites here in Spain. But, of course, there's always the other extreme - too much information. Here's a UK observer on this . . .  "Once the consumer’s mantra was 'That’ll do nicely'; now it is 'Go compare'. To blithely sign your child up to the nearest school is now a dereliction of duty: you must scour league tables and Ofsted reports. Buying anything from a fridge to a holiday begins with a dreary online price comparison or scrolling through recommendations on TripAdvisor, however partisan and planted by hotel owners they might be. Armed with a range of opinion and amorphous mass of data we believe our internal consumer jury can cogitate and decide.  . . .  Adam succumbed to the apple of knowledge; we can’t resist the AppleMac." Least of all me.

There was another anniversary celebrated today - that of the 1809 Battle of Pontesampaio, when Galician forces, assisted by the British navy, defeated the French a few miles outside Pontevedra. The battle features in my friend Peter's superb book, The Treasure Hunter of Santiago. Which you can and should buy on Amazon. Hurry. Only 2 left in stock. If you're too late to get the book, you can find a relevant extract here. In the 4th Appendix.

Finally . . . Gentlemen, Do not be tempted to buy Lord disposable blades. They may be cheap (8 cents each) but they're useless and won't even give you a single good shave, never mind the 3 or 4 (or possibly 8) I wring out of a Wilkinson or Gillette blade. Incidentally, I was going to heap ordure on Carrefour for selling this tat but I was saddened to see them on sale in Mercadona too this week. So, I won't.

Finally, finally . . . Some amusing news.


CafeMark said...

I understand by "hybrid" train, you mean those adapted so they can switch between the different gauge. A very interesting video of this is shown on youtube At least you'll get the fast service from Valladolid down to Madrid.

Sierra said...

I think 2018 is optimistic. A local 5km diversion of the existing branch line to Lugo has been under construction for the past five years. At a guess there are at least two years to go. This is not AVE-standard, merely "Altas Prestaciones" - high performance

Colin said...

Yes, I agree. I think I've said it's the very, very earliest we could see the AVE running in Gaicia.

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