The town of Tomar had plenty of sights but none more unusual than that which greeted me as I took the stairs up to the pay-station of the underground carpark. This was a couple in the well of the staircase who'd just finished comparing their underwear. At least, this is what I assumed they'd been doing as each of them was pulling up their pants. I wished them well but didn't get a response. Perhaps I should have used Portuguese. They were still there when I went down but I felt I detected a degree of sheepishness.
On another track altogether . . . You can now train from London to Barcelona in less time than it takes to get from Pontevedra to Madrid. And the Catalans claim they're hard done by! Will we ever get the AVE high-speed train in Galicia? I do wonder, even though President Rajoy is Galician and should be pork-barrelling like mad.
Which reminds me . . . The infamous airport at Castellón which cost billions and has never seen a plane is now being rented out to those who have a racing car they want to test. Sic transit gloria mundi.
Click here for the best 20 inventions to come out of Spain. And then just imagine what could have been achieved if the other 90% of the population had been applying themselves.
To be serious . . . As someone once almost said: Every country gets the politicians it deserves. In Spain's case this is a political class which is far too numerous and far too close to unscrupulous Spanish businessmen. Not to mention arrogant, immoral and self-serving. If Spain really is to become a modern European state, this mould has to be broken and another one created. With the involvement of the people. And not via we-know-best dictat. Will it happen? I don't know. But I certainly hope so and am willing to be optimistic.
Frankly, though, the first signs are not encouraging. Ex President Aznar has started legal proceedings against El País because of what's been reported around his involvement in the latest corruption scandal. And, ahead of a TV debate on the subject, the governing PP party issued threats that it was watching closely and would take legal action over any “defamatory” comments. Rightly, some of the participants suggested the party should instead be considering legal action against the chap who'd been distributing fat brown envelopes to party members. Which won't be possible, however, until the party admits this happened. We await this development with bated breath.
Back to reality . . . Mackerel is a fish which is now endangered. This won't bother the Spanish as they decline to eat it, as being 'too strong'. Demand is, therefore, low and so is the price. Which is good for those of us who like it. Even if we now have a dilemma.
Finally . . . I keep getting emails about Twitter in the name of Pablo Casals. Anyone else?
Finally, finally . . . “Every country gets the government it deserves” - Joseph de Maistre