Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Latin lovers; New Spanish words; Poverty oriented Popes; Seville streets; & Begging, Seville-style


In one poll at least, Spanish lovers have been voted the best in the world, while Englishmen (and Germans) were among the last. I sent the article to a few female Spanish friends of mine and one responded that this was possibly because English women expected rather more of their men than their Spanish counterparts. For the latter, she said, an increase from 2 to 4 minutes would be like a miracle. Actually, she didn't say that; I added it for effect. Though I'm pretty sure it's true . . .

A new Spanish word for me - Chacha. Not a dance but a 'maid' or 'nanny'.

Of the new words which have entered Spanish over the last year, the 'winner' is said to be escrache. Coming, I think, from South America, this is a demonstration outside the home or workplace of a public figure, e. g. a right-wing politician. The irony, of course, is that these stand to be banned under the new Law of Public Security, something dusted down from the Franco era and re-introduced so as to make 'people' safer. And we all know who 'the people' really are.

Other candidates for Word of the Year were autofoto (a selfie) and expapa (an ex-Pope).

Which reminds me . . . The latest Pope is said to be concerned about the poor, while living amidst the untold wealth of the Vatican. (That must be the very poor as, compared with his life, we're all poor.) So why doesn't he, for example, sell the 500 oil paintings that adorn the Seville cathedral and distribute the proceeds to the badly off? Best of all, by sending the wealth back to South America. It' be a start. And rather more convincing than anything the Vatican PR machine has yet come up with to counter the Church's somewhat tarnished image. "Our new Pope doesn't wear silk shoes", for example.

In the unlikely event you've arrived at this blog because you're researching the net before visiting Sevilla, here's a bit of advice: If you're going to walk around Sevilla's old quarter, you certainly need a good map. Or the ability and inclination to regularly seek directions in Spanish and understand them in gutteral Andaluz. Maps the size of those in, say, The Rough Guide, simply don't hack it - even the blown up bits - and some of the maps from the various the tourist offices aren't brilliant either. The best map we found was given to us by our hotel and it named even the little alleys. But it's not clear who issued it. Perhaps the Turístico Bus Company. It has a biggish sketch of the AVE train station in, of all places, Avenida de Kansas City.

Finally . . . It wouldn't be Spain if there wasn't a lot of begging in Sevilla, most obviously outside each of the extraordinary number of churches . But panhandling from a wheelchair was new to me. A toofa*: the pusher and the sitter.

* Two for the price of one.

3 comments:

Anthea said...

Maybe "chacha" is short for "muchacha" an old fashioned word for "girl" and so an alternative for "chica" referring to the domestic help.

Anonymous said...


Colin,

Santa Cruz - Forgot to print a map from Google before you set off? No sympathy for you then.

Streets plenty large enough for a donkey. Where did you park your car? Hope it's still there when you get back. Did you bring a donkey?

Granada Albaycin is the same.

Chacha is also a Georgian vodka/grappa

Toofa - Here it is - Same task twice in secession, whether straight away or timed apart

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=toofa

A couple of munterings perhaps - One after the other? Well worthy of an autophoto? Wouldn't you say?

Or have you gone all shy now? Q1-10

Lee said...

Sevilla and Kansas City are sister cities, whatever the hell that means and forever what absurd reason. http://www.kcsistercities.org/sister-cities/seville-spain