Most days I'd agree with the contention that Spanish motorists are not very much worse than those anywhere else. And then, within an hour, I come up against a van driver on my side of the road with a mobile phone to his ear and a guy driving across the bridge at 30-40kph with both hands behind his head. Incidentally, the van driver had the phone in his left hand but pressed to his right ear. This is not uncommon and I can only guess that his right ear is more 'trained' but that he wanted to keep his right hand on the wheel. Other explanations/theories welcome.
Following on its scrapping of plans for a Lisbon-Madrid high-speed train, the Portuguese government has now said it's cancelling the existing train service between Oporto and Vigo. They claim this is because few people use it. True but then, firstly, the times are not very convenient and, secondly, you could walk faster between these two cities than this ancient snail train manages it.
Click here if you want to know more about the stock market flotation of Bankia, the new institution created by fusing Caja Madrid and several smaller savings banks. And when you fully understand what's going on, please send me a summary. I may have the pleasure of meeting Charles Butler this summer and I don't want to appear completely ignorant.
I don't do much late-night drinking (de copas) but I do recall that when I first came here in 2000 the price of a copa was 500 pesetas, or 3 euros. When the euro was introduced in 2002, and as with many everyday items, the chance was taken to profit from the development and the price rose overnight to 5 euros, or 835 euros. Then it rose quickly to at least 6 euros, or 1000 pesetas. A doubling of the price, in other words. I mention this not to cite yet another dubious advantage of the introduction of the euro but as a prelude to the report that I walked past a bar today desperately advertising copas at the 2000 price of 3 euros a shot. A real sign of the times. But I'd be a bit worried about how close my copa was to the original spirit provided by the manufacturer.
Talking of bars . . . Despite La Crisis, at least two new ones have opened up in Pontevedra's old quarter in the last few weeks. And here they are . . . .
Which reminds me . . . I'm going to have to revise my estimate of the new roundabouts in Pontevedra. Walking into town from the station this morning, I passed one under construction that wasn't there last week. And this has an exit road leading into a new (and unpopulated) development where there are several more.
Shopping in Mercadona last night, I came upon a group of young people who'd just come through the checkout having bought nothing but cans of beer. Several hundred of them, in fact. Which they were trying to pack into suitcases and wheelie-bags. From the hair and dress styles, my guess was they were from the rump Indignados camp on the Alameda. Good to see they have their priorities right. There's hope for them yet.
As I wait to find out how Vodafone will (try to) screw me, I read this pertinent post from Lenox this morning. I agree with him about what will be the death (or at least the shackles) of Spain. Meanwhile, we're now into day 17 of my wait (“6 days, sir”) for a transfer from Orange to Vodafone.
Talking of customer service . . . Here's an amusing post, also from Lenox.
Finally . . . To prove my point, here's a foto taken from the steps of the basilica of Santa María. You can see my house with its bougainvillea towards the top of it. If you look hard enough.
And even more so in this zoomed snap. The uppermost row of town houses are those behind mine for which no owners have come forward in the six (noisy and dusty) years it took to build them.
End house on the right of the third block from the left.
Finally, finally . . . The overnight hits to this blog were double the norm. So maybe one of the words or phrases I cited last night - but which one? - really does do the trick. Alternatively, a friend has suggested hits rise when I don't post until late and there've been multiple hits to see if I've written anything. I've often pondered this but the counter point is that at least 131 readers are automatically advised by Google Reader when something has been posted. Likewise those using other RSS feeds. So they don't need to do this. Hey ho. It's not really important, is it?