I think it was Giles Trimlett in his "Ghosts of Spain" who mentioned that the first brothel you come across as you drive south from Santiago de Compostela is in a village called Esclavitud, or 'Slavery'. Well, the place is in the spotlight once again with the news that the owner's been accused of trafficking a 15 year old Rumanian girl. Running a place which is effectively a brothel is not illegal in Spain - hence the large numbers of them - but employing illegal immigrants - most of Spain's many, many prostitutes - certainly is. As in the UK, it may be illegal to profit from prostitution in Spain but it's on charges of harbouring illegal immigrants that the police usually bring the owners to court. Presumably after they've upset someone with clout.
Talking of Spanish laws . . . It would be a brave person who'd hazard a definitive description of property laws in even a single province of a single region of Spain. As someone has said - "Spain's complicated planning laws are a shambolic mess." And then's there's the ever-changing law and its inconsistent implementation in respect of building on coastal strips. I doubt anyone knows where they are with these. Anyway, demolitions take place from time to time but the funny thing is they never seem to be of ugly illegal hotels or blocks of flats - only of single houses belonging to foreigners. There was another this week and more are scheduled, reflecting action taken by the regional government in respect of properties 'illegally' approved by local councils and sold to innocent buyers. Every one of these demolitions is a nail in the coffin of foreign interest in personal investment in Spain but no one seems to care about this. At least no one Spanish. Simply put, you'd have to be mad to buy a new property here at the moment, especially down south. The PR is so negative the thought occurred to me that some other country - say Rumania - is paying the Spanish to deliberately alienate buyers but surely not. Hang on . . .
As for the ugly illegal hotels, here's David Jackson on the latest development in the saga of perhaps the ugliest.
Talking of fellow Spain-bloggers . . . This is a plug for Lenox's Business Over Tapas, which provides a comprehensive weekly review of events here.
Illegal parking: London has its traffic wardens, who are so fearless and assiduous they're prepared to ticket Hillary Clinton's car. These guardians of the law were tried in Pontevedra 15 years or so go but the scandalised populace conspired against them and the experiment was dropped. So here's how the council prevents illegal parking now:-
The city is dotted with these stainless steel poles, at €100 a pop, I believe. But they're probably cheaper and certainly more effective than traffic wardens.
It's chestnut time again and here's the chap who roasts them in his little engine in the main square.
Unfortunately, the monkey was immolated a while back.
The Spanish word pesca means 'fishing'. So you might think repesca is 're-fishing'. But it really means an 'exam retake' or the 'playoffs' in a tournament such as the World Cup. Which I think is lovely.
And another nice word - zafarrancho. Which means, inter alia, a 'row or fracas'. So, a word which sums up much of Spanish TV.
A third word - hemeroteca - means newspaper archives. But I can never read it without pronouncing it 'homoerotica'.
Finally . . . And with apologies to my female readers, here's a quote someone sent me yesterday: "My wife and I had words. Unfortunately, I couldn't get mine out".