Monday, June 10, 2013

Spanish nutritionists have done some research and exploded some myths. Turns out oysters are not an aphrodisiac. Who'd have thought it? The same is probably true of the stinking durian fruit and the disgusting goose barnacle (percebe), both of which are marketed on this basis. If you've got anywhere near the former and bitten into the latter, you'll know why.

In my relentless quest to ensure every foreigner driving in Spain knows how to go about navigating a roundabout(circle) correctly, I give you this short video. And by 'correctly' I don't mean 'sensibly' but 'legally'. Essentially, the manoeuvre you see in this film when the driver turns right - which would be left here in Spain - is illegal here and will get you a fine of at least 200 euros. In Spain, you can only go into the inner lane if you're doing a U-turn. If you don't believe me, watch how a learner driver is taught to make a left turn, cutting across anyone who wants to go straight ahead.

Talking of unusual aspects of Spain . . . Here's a nice introduction into the country's would-be nations and nationalities.

There's regular talk these days of reducing the number of immigrants entitled to benefits in the richer EU countries. Indeed, Switzerland - OK, not an EU member - has just had a referendum on the subject. In the UK, Rumanians are once again in the news as "An increasing number of Romanian women are working as prostitutes in London’s 'thriving' sex trade." Apparently they have a very efficient operation which involves dropping cash off at various points. A reverse ATM, I guess. They'll be running the country within 20 years. If the poles don't get there first. These fine folk have set about opening private medical centres around the UK for those who don't want to wait for NHS treatment. You don't have to be Polish to go there. But it helps.

I mentioned last week the difficulties I'd had with changing my email to one with After problems logging on today, I decided to apply for a new name. Which is why they now have two people called colindavies living in Antarctica on their books. Undetected by their computer. Possibly because, with the second one, I am feminina.

The EU: Whenever it comes to delivering on its plans, the EU always fails. It is great at bullying Britain, and forcing member states to comply with whatever comes out of Brussels, but whenever the shoe is on the other foot, and Brussels has to deliver, nothing serious ever gets done. But then, trying to get the liberal "free-market" British to cosy up with the dirigiste French and the rule-bound Germans, together with the anarchic Belgians, all with the corrupt Greeks, the Italian jokers and the rest, always was a crazy idea. More here.

Why are people so confounded by womens' breasts? There was some TV report on Femen the other day in which the young, bare-breasted women chained to railings had just their nipples blacked out. Do they have some transformative power I've not yet encountered? Do I need to do more research?

Finally . . . Fotos. I was shocked to find the exhibition of old fotos finished yesterday. So now I have only a few to compare with new ones. Just the one, in fact.

This square is now named after the Spanish Naval officer, Mendez Nuñez, though it was called something else in 1900.

Few things to note:-
  • Again, a third floor has been added. With a nice open balcony on one house.
  • The doors and windows are all 'faithful' to the original. Especially the little one.
  • The right-hand corner is now a (book) shop.
  • As with the others, there are no men in the old picture.
  • Whitewashing has gone out of style.
  • They didn't have rain in 1900.


Ferrolano said...

Colin, of recent, I have seen at the approach to traffic circles / roundabouts, clear signs marked on the road directing traffic wanting to turn left to use the center or innermost lane – there is hope somewhere, but it’ll be a long time in coming, especially if it cuts off a source of income for local authorities!!

Alfred B. Mittington said...

I am not surprised you get so many traffic tickets: you DRIVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD, YOU OAF!

This clearly being summer (absence of rain) in 1900 most of the men would either be at sea, in Castile to harvest the wheat, or in Cuba making big money on the sugar cane plantations. So who's surprised there are not too many to be seen in the old pictures?

Yours, Alfred B M

Colin said...

And I thought they were just camera-shy.

Colin said...

@Ferrolano: Yes, and I've seen arrows pointing straight on in the inner lane but I wouldn't trust them and, as I say, any unwitting foreigner using them is likely to be sideswiped by a local using the outer lane to turn left. Especially a learner. Moral: Proceed with extreme caution.

Perry said...


If you arrive at the RAB at 100 mph, lights blazing and with horn blaring, you can be through it, going straight on in nanoseconds, thus preventing other road users from turning left.

Or so I have been told!

Parrrp Parrrp.