Monday, June 25, 2012

So, after a few months away, what are the observable changes in Pontevedra? Well, there are more shuttered shops and more beggars panhandling on the streets. In particular, there are more wandering troubadours in Veggie Square. In fact, it sometimes seems there's a conveyor belt of these. Needless to say, they add to the ambient noise, making it even more difficult to hear what's being said to you. There are a few new bars down in the old quarter and a couple of refurbished ones. One of the latter is called Chirala, which I thought might offend a Muslim or two. Given that the favoured canines here are the French bulldog and the pug, there are inevitably more ugly dogs on the streets. And there are more bikes hurtling past you in the pedestrian areas, as people try to save on petrol.

Incidentally, someone wrote to me this week, describing Pontevedra as one of the nicest cities in the world. I don't have any difficulty agreeing with that.

There were three women arrested at 8.30pm in town last week, having filled up a supermarket trolley with clothes from one of the shops just as it was closing. The report said they were from (my) barrio of Poio. This, of course, is slang for gypsies and it wasn't the first time they'd been collared. As ever, the value of the clothes fell below 400 euros, meaning they'd be done for only a misdemeanour and not a felony. They must carry a calculator. Or a mobile phone, I guess.

A bit more light has been thrown on the workings of Spain's now-notorious cajas/caixas - the locally run savings banks. One of them - El Cam - had a ballerina as chair of its Steering Committee. She admitted she had no idea how banks worked and had signed everything put in front of her. I bet she did, on the huge salary she was getting. Reports like this don't go down to well in Germany, of course.

The French ministress for Culture is determined to eradicate prostitution in France and wants a similar approach taken throughout the EU. Fat chance, I would have thought. Here in Spain, the government has - 'on economic grounds' - just scrapped plans to ban the graphic brothel and escort ads which adorn several back pages in every national, regional and local newspaper. Which doesn't even hint at eradication.

Senior figures in Spanish life - politicians above all - are not terribly good at admitting culpability and apologising for their nefarious activities. The latest example is the country's leading judge, who was fingered for fiddling his expenses and using public funds to spend weekends with a young man. Announcing to his peers that he was resigning because the pressure had become insupportable, he insisted he was not conscious of having done anything wrong. Just the sort of chap you want at the top of the judiciary, eh?

Talking of politicians . . . I saw an interview with the No. 2 in the government on Friday night. To say it was 'soft' would be a gross understatement. The interviewer confined himself to lobbing easy questions and then sitting back for a ten minute dissertation. No challenges at all. It was like British TV in the 1950s. But, then, all channels are government controlled, so what can we expect?

Finally . . . For those interested, here's an article on the dire state in which eurozone members find themselves. And here's a detailed commentary on the Spanish economy. 

Finally, finally . . . As I type this, England are putting in their worst performance yet. Their ability to give the ball away has reached vertiginous new heights. I do so hope they don't win this game against Italy. Even on penalties. Especially on penalties.


Anonymous said...


insupportable? Is that English?
I am just asking, not being funny...'cause it might be.


Colin said...

1. Insoportable, inaguantable.
2. Insufrible, intolerable.

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