Tuesday, June 04, 2013

In his El País article yesterday John carlin bemoaned the absence - over the next 3 months - of Primera Liga histrionics and referred to a football discussion he'd recently seen on TV. To no one living here will it come as a surprise that Shouts, constant interruptions, partisan blindness and prejudice presented as absolute truth drowned every attempt to impose a minimum of rationality.

La Crisis begins to strike home when a retired surgeon tells you he's having his pension cut. Along with everyone else employed by the government, of course. Though no one would be surprised if politicians are escaping the scissors. Meanwhile the (doubtless well paid) Governor of the Bank of Spain is calling for the minimum wage to be scrapped. Which won't, of course, much affect the 27% of the working population who are unemployed. Soon to be 28%, they say.

But the news is not all bad. El País reported today that 'the major' eurozone countries are getting together to resist the dictates of Brussels. Though I don't think Germany is part of the rebellious group. And nor do I think anything will come of the initiative. Until there's real rioting in the streets. Not just the occasional stabbing of an ex-banker down in Valencia.

Today I finished a book on the Camino by the German comedian, Hape Kerkeling. It's well written and a pleasant read but I wouldn't regard it as essential reading for anyone contemplating the challenge of walking from France to the end of the world (Finisterra). There are a couple of factual errors about Galicia but nothing to worry much about. I was, though, perplexed by his reference to a "Celtic landscape". What on earth is that? A field full of marauding bagpipe players, kitted out like Mel Gibson in Braveheart?

In my lunchtime bar today, I paid for two large shandies (variously called a bol or a bock) but, as I did so, Leira the waitress whispered to me "Next time buy 4 cañas; it's cheaper." Actually, I don't think it is but it was nice of her to think of my wallet. I stress, by the way, there were two of us drinking.

Some sort of gaffe has been committed by a group of companies here in Galicia who launched a campaign in Gallego with the slogan Cómete o mar. As I understand it, this attempt to suggest that readers eat (products of) the sea came out as an instruction to be devoured by the sea. The correct phrase, it's said, is Come o mar. OK but why is the seafood of Galicia being promoted to Gallego-speakers? Are there people far inland who've never heard of it? I rather doubt it, as it forms the basis of every single menu. But it must make sense to someone, I guess.

If you're coming to Spain this summer and planning to use your EU Health Card in the event of medical attention, this is something you need to bear in mind. The solution appears to be - Don't admit you've got medical insurance.

Finally . . . Here's a quote from my friend Fran, who's one of the successful Porcos Bravos team - It's impossible for a Galician not to feel at home in England. Which is a nice thought and so I plan to join them on their next trip to the UK, to find out how and why this is true. Apart from the pub-crawling, I mean. Doubtless we'll get to Liverpool, as - thanks to the astonishing old pubs there, this is one of their favourite watering holes. Shame about the beer.

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