Friday, June 10, 2011

Someone arrived at this blog this morning after asking the question - why people from galicia is sad and taciturn. Which is an interesting question. I immediately thought that my new neighbours - Ester and Jacobo  - are not at all of this disposition. And then I realised they're both from Madrid.

I have on my chest-of-drawers a bottle of cologne which is just reaching the end of its life. Or approximately fourteen years, in this case. Or maybe only twelve or thirteen. I can't say whether or not it's made me in any way more attractive during this period but I can say, hand on heart, nobody has ever said anything along the line of "Mm. You smell good tonight." So, a waste of money probably. On my sister's part, as it was a gift from her, I think.

Talking of smells . . . there's one in particular I associate with Galicia. Which may or may not be entirely fair. I'm not 100% sure of its cause but I strongly suspect it comes from people who've allowed their summer clothes to get damp over the winter. Whatever its aegis, I became aware of it while taking a drink with some friends a couple of nights ago. And then I realised - with a shiver of horror - that it was coming from me! I traced it, quite quickly, to new pullover I was wearing for the first time and which had been a gift. Presumably it got damp in the shop. Anyway, I washed it yesterday and now wait to see whether this has eradicated the smell. But I fear not, from the initial sniffing.

I mentioned the other day that the French have the easiest working conditions in the EU and that the Spanish dream of getting someone else to pay for an easy life. I suspect the connection between these apparently disparate comments is that, while the Spanish expect to be financed by other individuals - say taxpayers in Germany - the French expect to be financed by their munificent state. But it's only a thought.

Just reverting to the saga in the Property Registry office(s) . . . The one thing I didn't have to face was a wait of any sort. In both of them I was attended to immediately. This, of course, is a reflection of the fact hardly anyone is buying and registering property at the moment. Yesterday's papers reported that sales in the last quarter were 58% down on last year's and constituted the lowest ever.

One thing which is increasing is the number of well-dressed, male beggars sitting voicelessly on a doorstep with a placard in front of them saying they have no work and are not getting any dole. We now appear to have one of these on every street and I've never been able to make up my mind whether or not they're genuine cases of hardship. They certainly look sad enough. Is this a Galician phenomenon or as these folk to be seen on the streets of other Spanish cities?

Also on the increase are the guys who 'guide' you into perfectly visible public parking places. These are called gorillas in spanish, after the caps (gorras) they wear. To be honest, I rarely pay them as I couldn't care less what they do to my seven year old Rover with a write-off value of about 200 euros. Albeit with an engine that cost me 2,000 euros to fix last year, as some readers may recall.

Here's IberoSphere on the recent storm of protest again the Spanish Royal Academy's sympathetic biog. of Franco. It throws up the valid point that journalists are still highly respected in Spain. Indeed, to take a course in university, you need to get marks in the Selectividad exams close to those required for doctors. If not more.

Finally . . . An interesting new Spanish idiomatic phrase:- Acabar con sus huesos en. Literally, To finish with his/her bones in. Actually, To end up in.


ANA said...

I know that smell.

Jill said...

I love reading your blog ... so glad it's on Facebook - it makes me smile :))) thank you!!!

Colin said...

Many thanks, Jill. Delighted to know my blog brightens your day. Besos.

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