The Spanish property market is still very much in the doldrums but what business there is largely reflects foreign interest in bargains in the sun. Many of whom are Brits, extending their love affair with Spain. One conclusion which can be drawn from this, sadly, is that the Spanish government was right not to give a toss about the risk of adverse reaction to all the reports of fraud and property abuses down south. The guiris will keep on coming, whatever happens, it seems.
Every now and again, along comes a list of the 10 most pretentious films in history. I'm always delighted that they include Last year in Marienbad. I watched this film at the film society at university and then promptly quit the society. Unlike my friends, I found it to be a load of old tosh and an utter waste of more than an hour of my life. So I wasn't surprised to see it made no. 2 in this list. Fortunately, I've never heard of the winner, The Tree of Life.
The Spanish verb for 'to kill yourself' is suicidarse. It's reflexive but Why? Why not just suicidar? After all, you can't suicidar anyone but yourself? Unless, perhaps, this for form is saved for when someone is reported to have killed him/herself in police custody.
I went to my local health centre yesterday, firstly to see the nurse for routine BP and ECG tests and then the doctor, to discuss the results of these and of my last blood tests. The nurse asked me, for the third time, if I was German. Anyway, I lay down as she attached leads to my torso and limbs, during which we talked about one thing and another, especially the weather. This topic is favoured by Galicians as much as it is by Brits. After 5 minutes or so, she announced she couldn't find the machine to connect the cables to. I couldn't understand why, but she kept stressing it was the big machine she was looking for. After about another 5 minutes, she summoned the receptionist to help her and they rummaged the room together. Just as the receptionist found the small machine on a shelf, the nurse pulled back a screen and found the big one. After the ECG, she took my blood pressure and the following conversation ensued:-
Right. Your BP's OK. Just a little high. I'll put all the results on the computer for Dr Ernesto to have when he gets back from holiday.
He's on holiday??
Yes. He's in Rome for 2 weeks.
But I have an appointment with him in 5 minutes.
No problem. There'll be a substitute.
Yes, but there's no point discussing these results with him/her.
Well, make another appointment for the second half of September.
So off I went to see the receptionist . . .
Can I have an appointment for the second half of September, please.
OK, Dr Ernesto is back on the 16th.
OK. That's fine.
Well, there certainly are slots that day.
Except it's his first day back and lots of patients want to see him that day. You might be better off coming in the next day.
[Foxed by the logic]. OK.
So, what to conclude from all of this? Tentatively:
1. The nurse doesn't have a great memory for faces.
2. The nurse is not good at keeping her office together.
3. Like 95% of all Spaniards, Dr Ernesto doesn't plan his holidays until the last moment.
4. The number of appointments given may not tally with the number of patients presenting themselves. Which could explain my suspicion that several people were given the same 3.15 slot as me last time I went to the health centre. Possibly to compensate for the no-showers. I recall my Dutch friend, Peter, telling me these were never reprimanded in any way.
Talking of times/hours . . . Here's more on the organisation which wants Spain to move from its unique (and crazy) daily timetable. And to switch to Portuguese (and UK) time. And here's its Facebook page. I see they have a congress in Madrid in November.