Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Good & Bad News; Ravachol, O Bruxo y Fodorico; Carazy Carnival; Women; % A BBC puta gaffe.

Good news: Spain's jobless total fell in February, albeit by only a fraction. But, after 6 years of misery for non-bankers and non-politicians, anything that isn't bad news ranks as good news.

Bad news: These are the corruption cases currently going through the Galician courts, all of them involving civil servants. Accused numbers in brackets:- Pokemón (105); Campeón(40); Orquesta (26); Muralla (10); Patos (5). One wonders how they get their names. A competition in the police HQ? Throwing darts at a dictionary? As I may have said, the Galician President has said the Pokemón case is shocking but there isn't going to be any sort of investigation. Possibly because both major parties are equally implicated and so have made a Devils' pact.

I was a bit surprised to find yesterday that the film, Philomena, starring Judie Dench and Steve Coogan, has been given the title Philomena in Spanish. This exactitude is not a common occurrence here and someone will be out of a job if things continue like this.

This is the time of year when I have to introduce the character Ravachol. This is a parrot. A 19th century parrot, to be exact. And it's the large effigy which is paraded around town in a mock funeral cortege and then immolated in the main square on the evening of the first Saturday in Lent. Next Saturday, in other words. Between now and then, sorrowing mourners can register their names in a book of condolences in a specially constructed kiosk in the Plaza de la Peregrina. Come the Saturday (Health-&-Safety-free) incineration, there'll be hundreds of these mourners, dressed in a wide array of costumes, many of them irreligious. And there'll be a great deal of cross-dressing, something which Spanish males seem to enjoy more than you'd expect. Anyway, all the details are here. Incidentally, the most common effigy along this coast is a sardine but here in my barrio of Poio and also in the next-door barrio of Samieira they favour cockerels called O Bruxo and Fodorico, respectively. No idea why they've both turned away from the sardine tradition. But, so long as everyone has - rain permitting - a great deal of fun, it hardly matters. Actually, Fun, Come What May could well be Spain's national motto. Can anyone put it into Latin?

On the same subject but going wider afield, The Local here provides details of Spain's weirdest Carnival celebrations. Something for everyone.

The ladies who serve in my regular midday bar are all very pleasant and hard-working, as is true of all Spain. And they alway take care to ask me whether I want the tapa of tripe or something else instead. Yesterday, though, the service was exceptional. First, my glass of shandy was taken away and replenished, on the grounds the foam had been excessive. Then I was given 4 chunks of tortilla, followed 10 minutes later by another 4 pieces. Followed another 10 minutes later by a bowl of cocido, or pork, cabbage and potatoes. I suspect I was afforded this exemplary treatment because I'd told the waitress last week she looked elegantisima and had jocularly asked whether she had a new boyfriend. She'd replied that she didn't have either a new one or an old one. I wish I'd known years ago how easy it is to deal with women. My life would have been so very different.

Finally . . . Here's the BBC News' text on the recent Chinese New Year: Welcome to the Year of the Whores.

Author's Note: A Galician reader recently took me to task, gently, for writing of feismo (ugliness) here in Galicia. So, here's something from yesterday's Voz de Galicia which is very much to the point.


Perry said...


You wrote, " She'd replied that she didn't have either a new one or an old one. I wish I'd known years ago how easy it is to deal with women. My life would have been so very different."

Did you see this film????????




Sierra said...

Surprised Opus Dei,etc., haven't banned Philomena

Alfred B. Mittington said...

For an understanding of the roles of parrots and sardines and flying goats and beaten bugbears in Carnival celebrations (and much, much much much more…) read Sir James Fraser's 'The Golden Bough'.

As for "Fun, Come What May" in Latin, I figure that "Semper Laetatio" would kind-of do…

Alfredus B. Mittingtonensis.

Colin Davies said...

Not sure 'siempre' covers 'come what may'. 'Quod ardua', perhaps