Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another of those conversations yesterday – short but surrealistic for an Anglo:-
An almond choc-ice, please.
There you are.
[After ripping the paper off and taking a bite] Excuse me . . .
You're going to tell me it's super-frozen, aren't you?
Yes, Like the last one I had here, it's hard enough to break my teeth.
Yes, I know. Who's next?

So, the last time I patronise that place. Especially as, at 1.80, the price of the ice-cream is higher than that of a glass of wine in most bars.

Talking of odd developments . . .The price of a small bottle of water in Pontevedra's numerous cafés is almost invariably a euro, or 90 pence. But one place I use raised theirs to 1.05 a few months ago and have just raised it again, to 1.15. Way above the inflation rate. Strangely, their coffee remains at 1.05. For now.

I'm currently engaged on the task of photographing all the shops in Pontevedra with an English word in their name, whether it makes sense or not. I came across this Chinese restaurant near the train and bus stations.

The surname Li is clearly the Spanish version of the ubiquitous name Lee in the Anglo-sphere. It struck me it's a good thing it isn't Yu.

The good news today is that the flotation of the Spanish savings bank Bankia has successfully placed all the shares offered to institutional investors. The bad news is that five Spanish banks failed the most recent stress tests. But the government – which always tells the truth – says there's nothing to worry about.

It's been a strange sort of day, with three sets of visitors and an unscheduled appearance of the Atlantic Blanket, which has shrouded us in cloud for the entire day. Two of my visitors - Lucy and David - attended a wedding in town, starting with Mass at 1pm, followed by lunch. At 6, Lucy called to say they were just serving the main course. A truly Spanish lunch that won't finish until at least 8, in my expectation.

My own lunch was down at the Asian buffet place with six friends from Galicia and North Portugal. Thanks to the fact I had a voucher and the total bill was more than 30 euros, I was made the gift of a bottle of Chinese firewater. Which may or may not get drunk. Pleasingly, the place was reasonably full and I'm considering revising my prognosis of failure.

Finally . . . It's reported that more than 8,000 Galician drivers have lost their licences since the law was tightened up. The article was accompanied by a foto of a speed cop studying a TV monitor positioned on the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. As he's driving while doing so, I guess he could arrest himself for doing so without due care and attention.

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