Learning English is pretty damn easy,if you're an Anglo-Saxon child, but not so easy if this advantage is denied to you. Here's The Local's list of the top 10 things Spaniards struggle with. For some readers, this may be the first time they've met 'phrasal verbs'(No.5), even though they're the bane of every foreign student's life. This being so, imagine their reaction when you tell them you've never heard of what they're complaining about.
One of my favourite buildings in Pontevedra is the Palacete de los Mendoza.
It's had various owners over the past 100 years but now serves as the - rarely frequented - HQ of the Rías Baixas Tourist Board. It's built in the Portuguese style, as are all these fine buildings on the north side of Pontevedra.
I learned only this week that there's a second film shot in Pontevedra, this one in the early 80s. It was the rather more successful Los Gozos y Las Sombras and it featured the Palacete as the home of the main characters.
Ten years or so ago, I sent a personal letter to the Director of the said Rías Baixas Tourist Board, offering to translate all their promotional material for nowt. I never even had the courtesy of a reply. But, anyway, here's how their English material turned out, absent my help. Craply, in a word. Presumably, though, it came with the stamp of approval of whichever of the Director's relatives produced it. For a large fee.
Passing through a street I regularly use yesterday, I saw there were none of the 10-15 cars usually parked in it. Then I noticed the new yellow markings and a Load/Unload Only sign. As the only 2 businesses within 100 metres are a kindergarten and a hairdressers, I was left wondering who would be doing the loading and unloading. More precisely, in whose financial interest was this bizarre (but not unprecedented) decision made? Perhaps all will become clear in due course.
In a BBC podcast on Portugal, the reporter referred to Fado as 'a sort of Iberian Blues'. More like an Iberian version of moaning, in my humble opinion. I put the mistake down to the reporter not being old enough to know what Blues is. And/or a cloth ear.
Finally . . . HT to my Ferrol friend Richard for this guide to the 11(10?) rules a (Spanish) wife must obey to be a good spouse. First issued in 1953, it'll astonish, amuse and enrage in equal proportions. Especially the one about not complaining if your husband has stayed out all night. At the brothel, presumably. I'm guessing it all had Franco's full approval, if not his wife's. I'm reminded of Mohammed's wife being told in the Quran to knock off her complaining about her husband's concubines. By the way, the Spanish for spouse (esposa in the feminine) also means 'handcuffs'. Now you know why.