Sunday, December 30, 2012

I mentioned the other night that a contestant on Spain's version of Strictly Come Dancing spent over 8 minutes arguing with a juror. An English friend who watches it with a Spanish partner has since told me the program lasts for three and a half hours, giving ample time for such nonsense.

As everyone knows, Santiago cathedral is famous for its huge incense burner, el butafumeiro. If you've never seen this wonder in action, click here. I can vouch for the fact it passes close to the heads of those sitting in the transepts. I imagine it'd never be permitted in the UK on Health & Safety grounds. For once, I'd agree. Incidentally, the number of pilgrims from Anglo countries is well up this year, largely because of the Martin Sheen film The Way. Some of these new pilgrims may even have been religious.

Down in El Ejido, an equine-averse Moroccan has been trialled and deported for killing a horse by ramming a large pole into its rear end. I wonder if the offence would have been treated quite so seriously if he'd stabbed it between the ears, estocada fashion.

Changing Spain 1: The government has finally given shops the freedom to decide when they want to hold sales. Up to now, they've been limited to a couple of specific times a year. And in tourist areas, shops will be allowed to open when they want. It's all aimed at increasing trade, of course.

Changing Spain 2. Civil servants are to have their working hours drastically overhauled, on the model employed almost everywhere else in the world. They're to work 9 to 5 and to have only 30 minutes for lunch, not the 3 hours that's been the norm since God knows when. They'll still get three days a year for taking care of ID or driving licence renewal, though this is a reduction. There are also changes to their holiday and “sick day” entitlements. All of this is admirable in that it contributes to the modernisation of Spain but it's not going to be good for all those bars and restaurants offering menús del día near government office blocks. Unless they turn themselves into sandwich bars. I'll let you know when the first Prêt-à-Manger appears in town.

Changing Spain 3: If you're resident in Spain and have assets overseas, you'll be interested in this comprehensive list of the taxation changes the government has rushed through in the last few months. Over which there appears to have been little discussion in the media. If any.

Finally . . . I heard the word chimpín last night and assumed it was another example of an English gerund being used as a Spanish noun. I couldn't, though, imagine what it would be, other than behaving like a chimpanzee. But, no, it turns out merely to be the word for one of these. Which are not unusual in Galicia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Civil servants aren't the dangerest. What's about the white collars at banks? Their timetable is more restricted.

Yours truly,

Sareb el Malo

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