Sunday, July 01, 2012


I got some hard evidence last night for my fear that I'm seen by the Spanish as Johnny-no-Mates. A friend told me that I and my (small) rucksack are well known about Pontevedra, especially as I am usually un solitario.

As I left my bank this morning, I noticed a chap who was shouting something at a young woman walking in the opposite direction. Given that he was, firstly, wearing shorts in the centre of town and, secondly, pushing a supermarket trolley, he would anyway have been considered odd. But first impressions would have been confirmed by the fact he was screaming such sentiments as "You've got no brain. There's a space in your head". And "Your father is queer and your mother is the daughter of a whore!". An interesting five minutes.

Talking of shouting . . . Nice-but-Noisy Toni was on good form yesterday, singing and bawling for no apparent reason. My visitor, Mike, thought that the high pitch of the voice meant if had to be Toni's son, also (of course) Toni. But I've had almost a decade's experience of the noise from next door and would have been prepared to be my mother's life on it being the elder Toni. So we begged to differ.

The Bird Station: Tremendous news. No small birds. Nor even any blackbirds. But today saw the appearance of two jays. Now, in the UK, these shy members of the crow family are rarely seen in urban settings. But maybe their Spanish cousins are rather bolder.

Other good news. The café-bar by the town hall has reopened. Complete with wifi. It's one of at least two which have re-opened as an ultra modern watering hole. So the place long called Al Moro is now El Piano Bar. And O Vello is now The Corner. In each of these, there's now double the number of TVs than before. So, plenty of scope for my TV-be-Gone. Compensation for these adverse TV (and noise) developments is that the head barman of my deceased favourite place, El Siglo, has finally reappeared as the barman in The Corner. With luck, I should be able to get all six TVs switched off at the same time. By him, I mean. Meanwhile, you'll have noticed that a bar can't be considered modern without it having a name in English.

The Bird Station: Tremendous news. No small birds. Nor even any blackbirds. But today saw the appearance of two jays. Now, in the UK, these shy members of the crow family are rarely seen in urban settings. But maybe their Spanish cousins are rather bolder.

The French pre-internet Mintel invention has finally been laid to rest. Does anyone recall using it?

Finally . . . After a couple of weeks back, I'm sure several of Pontevedra's usual beggars have moved on to pastures that may or may not be greener. But I was taken by surprise today by a young woman who used to be very thin and to look very miserable. Today, though, she was slightly overweight, happy-sounding and, best of all, pregnant. Let's hope all continues to go well for her. And that the father of the child is not a drug addict.

3 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

But do you mean to tell me that the English names of the bars are spelled correctly? You gottabe kiddin'me!

Bill said...

Re Minitel: Yes, I used it for 2-3 years when I lived in Paris for most of the mid-late 1980s; the terminal I had was not one of the most primitive early ones, but was quite stylish with a fold-away keyboard over the screen.

The were given away free as an alternative to paper telephone directories and use made of it purely for telephone inquiries was free as well; I had it in my apartment in my study there. It was very 'clunky' even then, but was still a novelty as most people didn't have any kind of screen-based data communication in those days. Of course we had our own company 'intranet' in an early version and such things as Reuters screens and although I had also had my own PCs at home for some years by then, they were not connected on-line in any way.

However, as a 'closed' system it was always destined to be a bit of a white elephant, even if some made money out of it, specially the 'minitel rose' (porn) providers.

Colin said...

Many thanks, Bill. Appreciate that. Still owe you a reply to your last comment . . .

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