Driving from Santiago yesterday with a friend who's visiting, I actually said this on one breath: "That's the new line for the AVE high-speed train. That's an infamous brothel. That's a beautiful little church modelled on the Santiago cathedral. This village is called 'Slavery' in English. And there's some pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago." Could there be a better invocation of Spain?
Prior to this, we'd passed the City of Culture, the vanity project/white elephant which adorns the eastern edge ofSantiago and which isn't getting quite the number of tourists predicted for it. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed there was something odd about the roofs. So I wasn't surprised to read today that they're being repaired because holes caused by some 'construction error' in the building of this multi-million testament to one thing and another.
As for all those Brits said to be fleeing Spain in droves . . . Here's the story of one of them.
A few years ago, the Daily Telegraph decided to outsource its editing to a team of Antipodean teenagers who'd only them cost a pittance. And so it is that we now get sentences such as: Mr Sechin began his carrier as a Portuguese and French specialist, serving the KGB in Africa. If you can't see the mistake, there might be a job for you on the DT.
I went to my bank with my visitor today to talk about opening a bank account for her. My friend Susana there steadfastly refused to believe that Brits didn't have ID cards. And she got quite panicky at the thought that my visitor wouldn't be able to supply both a passport and an ID card. As of now, we don't know how this will be resolved, as she doesn't have a driving licence either.
Finally . . . Early readers yesterday will have noticed (perhaps) that I wrote 'terrorists' instead of 'tourists'. A kind reader pointed this out to me, adding it was probably accurate to say terrorists would spoil a place.