Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cataluña; Spanish life; Russia; Gorillas; & Funny English.

The Presidents of Spain and Cataluña have finally stopped shadow boxing and will meet on Thursday this week to discuss the latter's 'illegal' independence referendum scheduled for November. The negotiating hand of the Catalan President has been seriously - possibly fatally - weakened by the recent reports of corruption among members of the region's patriarchal political clan, the Pujols. One wonders whether it's really a coincidence that the reports have emerged right now. Will demands for independence be softened in return for leniency?

Spanish Life

  • Grandparents have always played a large role in family life here, for example looking after kids when their parents' work hours didn't coincide with the school timetable. But now it's claimed they're working many more hours a day and suffering for it. So much so that the Spanish Geriatrics and Gerontology Society has called for a halt. Older people, it says, should learn to say no and set limits to how much they can do. And they should also make sure they have time for themselves. Not very likely.
  • Spain is a wonderland for archeological discoveries. The latest of these are million-year-old tools found in Cuenca province, used by the first human settlers in the Iberian Peninsula - prehistoric humans including Homo Ergaster and Homo Antecessor.
  • For some reason, since 1995, Spain has slipped down from no. 8 in the Index of Human Development to 27 this year. Perhaps it's all the corruption. Strangely, the UK rose from 27th to 14th place. No idea why.
  • 24% of Spaniards are yet to use the internet, above the EU average of 20 percent. Spain also has lower than average rates of daily internet use. And only 32% of people had bought stuff online in the last 12 months, compared to an EU average of 47%. On the other hand, Spaniards had higher than average rates of internet use for using eGovernment services.

Following up my suggestion yesterday that we all buy Moldavian wine to spite Putin, I've now decided to do my own bit for the cause by refraining from buying a Russian bride.

In Vigo, as in Pontevedra, you can hardly ever get into a 'free' parking place without giving some coins to a gorrilla, but I had no idea it was an international business. Apparently, in Vigo 'demented people and alcoholic Portuguese' are being exploited as slaves. Though I don't think we've sunk to such depths here in Pontevedra.

Finally . . . I made some hotel enquiries down in Portugal over the weekend. The English of the replies was variable but the comment I like best was - "If you don't mind to Cher 2 rooms . . . "


sally said...

I find the best way to get out of paying the annoying 'gorrillas' a finders fee is to talk very loudly, in English, whilst getting out of the car to my husband /daughters and smile very nicely and they very quickly back off!

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Sally. I'll give it a try, though I don't usually have any companions to talk to/at. Bill no mates!

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