And now a HT to Lenox (of Business over Tapas) for info on another - startlingly simple - way of washing your black money:- You ask for a loan and return it in cash.
As I type this, I'm sitting next to a table of 4 senior Spaniards who are comparing themselves with the ingleses, by whom they mean Brits. Sadly, thanks to a mixture of concentration on writing and distance, I can't quite make out what it's all about. But it reminds me that I took a friend to a dentist for a bit of emergency attention last night. With impeccable manners and a lovely smile, she told me all British dentists were useless and that Spanish dentists were the best in the world. I had expected the latter but not the former. I explained, to her obvious astonishment, that this might be because, unlike here, basic dentistry in the UK was free and that dentists made little money on it. Economies were essential, fripperies not.
I gained this appointment at less than an hour's notice. The reason? The dentist is the mother of the two young ladies to whom I give a conversation class when they're home from university. In other words, an enchufe, or plug-in. My impression was the clinic had ground to a halt while she attended to my friend, causing the waiting room to overflow. But I suspect Spanish patients are used to this queue-jumping. And to waiting.
I was momentarily non-plussed this morning at the number of people walking around with bouquets of flowers in their arms. And then I recalled that Nov. 1 is the day when Spanish families visit and bedeck the graves of their loved ones. Having first cleaned them yesterday or the day before.
I had another unusual experience in Veggie Square yesterday. As I sat at a table outside my regular bar, I noticed a young woman who looked astonishingly like an actress in a UK comedy series. Wouldn't it be a good idea, I thought, to take a foto and and send
it to the actress, telling her she had a Spanish doppelgänger. So, trying not to be too obvious, I took a few snaps, hindered by the fact my camera was acting up. As they got up to go, one of the young men in the party very politely asked me if I was planning to put the fotos on the internet. A bit taken aback, I blushed, said not and explained my reasons for taking the fotos. In a word, the young lady was flattered and delighted at being snapped and at the idea she resembled a pretty actress. Smiles all rounds. Especially when I gave her the details from which she could see who and what I was talking about. In truth, I can't see this happening in the UK, where I'd be at risk of being threatened by the males and sued by the female. Spain is different. Thank God.
It's a truism that - apart from the closed shops and the beggars - there are few easily identified signs of La Crisis on the streets of Spanish cities. So it's good to see The Local giving us a list of ten reasons why this is so. En passant, I wonder what The Local does when they can only think of 9 good entries for a new list.
Here's an article on one of our Albariño wines and here's one on Galicia's best red wine, from the Mencia grape.
Talking of wine . . . Here's a little dissertation on the ethnicity of the world's most famous wine-maker, Jesus of Nazareth. Courtesy of my Jewish sister. Not the very Catholic one. I imagine they were equally amused But that's Jesus for you - an equal opportunities Saviour. Even Muslims quite like him.
THE ETHNICITY OF JESUS
There are three good arguments that Jesus was Black:
1.He called everyone "brother"
2.He liked Gospel
3.He didn't get a fair trial
But there are three equally good arguments that Jesus was Jewish:
1.He went into His Father's business
2.He lived at home until he was 33
3.He was sure his Mother was a virgin and she was sure He was God
There are three equally good arguments that Jesus was Italian:
1. He talked with his hands
2. He had wine with his meals
3. He used olive oil
There are three equally good arguments that Jesus was a Californian:
1. He never cut His hair
2. He walked around barefoot all the time
3. He started a new religion
There are three equally good arguments that Jesus was an American Indian:
1. He was at peace with nature
2. He ate a lot of fish
3. He talked about the Great Spirit
There are three equally good arguments that Jesus was Irish:
1. He never got married..
2. He was always telling stories.
3. He loved green pastures.
But the most compelling evidence of all is the three proofs that Jesus was a Woman:
1. He fed a crowd at a moment's notice when there was virtually no food
2. He kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it
3. And even when he was dead, he had to get up because there was still work to do