Saturday, August 18, 2012


It's not a good year in the tourist business. Hotel occupancy in Galicia rose in the second half of July, to 75% – way down on the 90% of last year. Barely enough to break even, I suspect.

At the macro level, both unemployment and levels of bad debt are now worse than in 1993, the pits of the last depression. As to what's being done to rescue the situation, we don't know as it's August.

Here in Spain, supermarkets can't sell OTC drugs such as aspirin or paracetamol. There are shops called parapharmacies where you might expect to get them. But you'd be disappointed. These don't appear to sell much besides sun creams. No, you have to go to a fully-fledged pharmacy, where the prices will be a shock to you if you live in a country where's there's no equivalent monopoly. As they were for my younger daughter today, when she paid more than five euros for 10 soluble aspirin tablets. But at least they melt on the tongue and taste of Coca Cola.

Two bits of good news today:-
  1. Dame Judy Dench is an Everton fan. Not sure why. Don't think she's Scouse. And,
  2. At last I've found someone who shares my hatred of the modern pronunciation of the word hospital and similar words (More on this anon). He was one of the guys featuring on a DVD of Grumpy Old Men. I forget which one.
And another interesting new Spanish word – Piltrafa: Scrap, Wreck of Piece of Junk.

And a useful phrase – Cosa de . . . . , As in the following conversation, down at the Hyundai dealer:-
I'd like to see the Coupe model, please?
We don't sell that.
Why not?
[Shrug] No sé. Cosa de Hyundai,

Finally . . . An important question – Is the Vega Sicilia wine really more expensive in Spain than it is in the USA? I was going to use the word 'cheaper' but it'd be rather inappropriate for this caldo. Anyway, is there a reader in the States who can give me the local price?

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