Sunday, November 10, 2013

Illegal houses; Painful closures; Daily irritants; Beggars again; Funny dates; and Corruption.

It'd be a brave person who predicted what'll happen to the many thousands of properties in Spain said to be illegal. A couple of houses were demolished two weeks ago and two more will go shortly, all owned by Brits who'd done everything the right way. Or so they thought. But one couple's lawyer - introduced by the agent - was actually a lorry driver. For the future, many houses may be 'legalised' and others may be 'regularised' while others are reduced to rubble. Meanwhile, we can only smile with envy at the owners of one house which, unlike its neighbours, gets electricity and gas from the council but which, because it's 'illegal', doesn't pay IBI (municipal tax). Only in (arbitrary) Spain?

Some Crisis-inspired closures hurt more than others. I went, last night, to the only churrascaría(grilled meat) restaurant in town, to find it closed. So, off I went to another place where I could, at least, get roast lamb. The next table was occupied by a family of adults and children, who arrived to eat at 10.45 - the women at one end of the table and the men at the other, with the kids in the middle. And the cacophony they achieved was beyond human imagination. Or mine at least. Only in Spain?

One of the irritating things here is that, when you read a Spanish newspaper on line and want to return to the front page, you're taken to the top of it, not to where you were. So you have to scroll down each time. Another irritant, for me, happens when I access my original Spanish Terra email and mis-remember my password, and I'm asked to re-type not just the right password but also my email address. Sometimes several times. Am I unfair in regarding these as examples of where Spanish companies demonstrate a lack of customer awareness? And don't learn from checking what other companies do? Whatever, I'm lucky with Terra in having what must be one of the world's shortest emails - colin@terra.com

A bit embarrassing to find I'd already published - and not so long ago either - a list of Pontevedra's beggars. And a more comprehensive one as well. But it did lack the chap who kneels motionless in the town centre with a begging dish in his outstretched hands - these days a common aspect of life in Santiago de Compostela, where every street in the old quarter has at least one. All of them, young and old, looking rather Rumanian. A family business?

Which reminds me . . . At various times over the years, I've given a long list of Spanish words which in the masculine form mean nothing more than something like 'Jack-the-lad' but in the feminine form mean 'whore, tart or slut'. The latest pairing I've come across is fulano(guy, somebody or so-and-so) and fulana(slut). Doesn't seem fair, does it? Only in Spain?

Yesterday was an unusual day; the date of 9.11.13 was a "phenomenon" of three consecutive odd numbers (though not in the go-it-alone USA of 11.9.13). The next one will occur in 92 years time, in the 22nd century. Which few of us will see.

From yesterday's El País on the latest development in the case of alleged bribes to government politicians, from the President down:- Like many other magistrates, Judge Pablo Ruz is used to hearing outlandish explanations from witnesses or suspects without incredulity creasing his face. But even he was put to the test on Wednesday. “You mean to tell me that a lawyer such as yourself was not aware that you were signing that document, and that your signature could mean legal responsibilities for you?” The question was put by Ruz to José Ángel Cañas with just a touch of annoyance in his voice. Cañas, the manager of the Castilla-La Mancha regional Popular Party (PP), had just admitted that he had signed a receipt for the amount of €200,000, money that is alleged to have been handed over in cash in 2007 by construction firm Sacyr. The money is suspected of having been used to finance the PP’s regional election campaign. Only in Spain?

8 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


In two years and three days time, our American cousins will have the next Magical Succession of Odd Numbers, to wit: 11.13.15. But whole the F*** cares for those things???

Unimpressed Al

Colin Davies said...

Readers of the Daily Mail, like my mother. You won't be getting a Christmas card, I fear.

Colin Davies said...

'whole' . . . Is this a joke about numbers?

'F***' - Is this a right royal 'f***' ?

Perry said...

Tmesis tomorrow.

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Spell Check corrected my 'Who' to more Freudian phonetics.

And they still say Microsoft has no sense of humor…

Humbled Al

PS: No Christmas card this year! What shall I eat???

Rebrites@yahoo.com said...

"Spanish companies evidence a lack of customer awareness..." No mi digas, hombre.

Here in CyL (Castilla y Leon), "customers" are those pests who walk in the door of the business and interrupt Respectable Folks´ telephone conversations/card games/manicures with demands for God-knows-what absurdity. For them to expect anything more than a smirk is to only encourage their presumption.

Colin Davies said...

@Alfie. Umble pie. Or, as it's usually said, Humble pie.

Colin Davies said...

@Rebrites. Yes, I've hear this said and I', sure t does happen but I've been lucky. Or maybe it's because I don't shop in women's dress shop. But I haven't suffered from this. Maybe it's the blue eyes.

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