It's been said (by me) that, when it comes to eating, the Galicians are so conservative that, when they go out to eat, they always have what they can get at home, but cooked by someone other than themselves, their wives or their mothers. And so it was last night at the Asian restaurant at the bottom of the hill. Basically because the shopping mall was open on one of the few Sundays allowed in Spain, the place was pretty packed. But everyone I saw using the “Mongolian Grill” was giving the chef a heaped plate of just one of the shellfish on offer – razor clams, large prawns or clams, for example. Not for any of them was the wide variety of Chinese or Japanese dishes. Nor, God forbid, any of the nine sauces on offer. To Galicians – as for my mother – the basic primary produce should be so good it doesn't need any sauce. Tell that to the French or the Italians. Never mind the Indians, the Thais or the Indonesians, for example! How often I ache for something with ginger in which to dip the prawns, however good they are. But nothing ever changes here. Well, it does for a while and then the restaurant closes and, obeying local dictats, becomes yet another kebab house. Of which I think we now have eight in Pontevedra.
My daughter and her partner bought a couple of bikes to use on the streets of Madrid. And maybe on some of the pavements. Their main virtue was that they weren't expensive. Their main vice was a tendency to fall apart. My daughter's advice – "Never buy a bike from Decathlon!"
The opposition PP party has called for local government accounts to be audited. What an innovation! Holding to account the politicians. Of course, I'm all for it. But I bet this gets forgotten when the PP has a landslide victory next year.
Talking of shopping . . . Here's another reason – as if you needed any – to hate Carrefour:- You used to be able to use either a 50 cents or a euro coin in their carts. Now you can only use a euro coin. For whose convenience? And here's another one . . . the carts are all outside the mall and nowhere near the entrance to the shop. If you don't know this – or forget – you have a long walk ahead of you.
Here's IberoSphere on the video I cited a couple of weeks ago. Well worth a second viewing. “It’s interesting how Spaniards are now expressing anger at the management of their country’s economy. But perhaps that’s the best way to look back on the tragedy that has been Spanish government real estate policy since 1998: with a sense of humour.” For some of us, undoubtedly. For others, possibly not.
Finally . . . I've long ago given up trying to understand what drives readership of this blog. The current average is around 150 hits a day but this can vary from 100 (most Saturdays) to 300 or more (rather less frequently). I've no idea what drives the peaks, as my desultory attempts at identifying word/phrase stimulants (whore, brothel, prostitution, donkeys off church towers, nude fotos of Farah Alam, etc., etc.) have all come to nothing. Maybe there's the occasional citation (as opposed to Blog Links) which leads to a spike but, if so, I've never found one. Good job this isn't a business enterprise, as I'd be completely ignorant of my customers and what drives them. If anyone's got any ideas, I'd welcome hearing them.