Monday, January 19, 2015

Spanish justice; Spanish spelling & pronunciation: Messi; Science v. Religion; Newspapers & Mugs; & Toutes to France.

It's not unusual in Spain for the Public Prosecutor to call for sentences which look pretty ludicrous - hundreds and, occasionally, thousands of years. There must be reason but, for me, this just remains one of the secrets of the Spanish justice system. I mention it now because the accused in the long-running Gurtel corruption case are facing jail sentences of up to 109 years and 10 months. Presumably they have a calculator in the Prosecutor's office which works to the standard Spanish 3 places of decimals. But, vamos a ver. Will any of them actually go to prison? And, if so, will any of these stay there for more than a few months, waiting for one of the (very) numerous pardons dished out by a cabinet full of their mates?

Talking of Spanish justice . . . I understand that today will see the continuation in Santiago de Compostela of the electrician who not only stole the 14th(?) century Codex from the cathedral but also, over the years, pocketed more than €2m from the funds kept in a wardrobe there. Perhaps the trial is all done and dusted and all that remains is the (bizarre?) sentencing. At least this would explain why the news channels last night showed video evidence of him entering the inner sanctum and pocketing wads of cash. Or perhaps it's because it's not a jury trial and the public can see whatever is released by the prosecutors. So that it can be shown, in the Spanish custom, 2 or 3 times in the same news item. Or even more, as when years ago a rally car hit a spectator and was catapulted high into the sky. Oh, and killed.

In modern Spanish, the double L has ceased to sound like a combination of L and Y and has simply become Y. This can lead to mistakes in writing. So, last night, I saw the phrase "Tu tienes todo mi apoyo"(You have all my support) written as "Tu tienes todo mi a pollo" (You have all my chicken". Need I add that I live in the barrio of Poio. Or Chickenland, as I call it. It's a good jon the Spanish for 'support' is apoyo and not apoya. As then it would have been the even more unfortunate: "You have you all my cock".

Also last night, I watched the incomparable Lionel Messi score yet another hat-trick (un triplete). One of these was a cheeky lift over the goalkeeper (una vaselina) from what looked like just inches in front of the latter. Is there any footballer alive who can make you smile as much as La Pulga (The Flea)?

Still on yesterday . . . I watched a debate on BBC on whether science undermines religion. The first speaker was insistent - midst incredulous laughter from biblical scholars - that he'd found the exact mountain on which Moses had descended with the tablets. Evidence included a bit of cloth of the Ark of the Covenant's cover. This was impressive. But not as much as his claim that he had an answer to the question of what on earth Jesus was doing between his birth and his 30th year. Being educated by a Jewish sect, the Essenes, he assured us. Not everyone found this credible.

Here's a headline you don't see every day, from today's Daily Telegraph: Top economist questioned by police over claims he attacked prostitute after smoking crack with her. Perhaps he gave her all his support/chicken/cock

Talking of newspapers . . . I got my Voz de Galicia mug yesterday and here it is:-

I'm going back today to see if the kind kiosk-owner has any left over she can sell me. DEPENDE means IT DEPENDS. All Galicians and most Spaniards will get the joke. And you?

Finally . . . Now that the northern coast A8 motorway has been finished, the Voz de Galicia has calculated it will take 5 hours 40 minutes to get from Galicia to the French border. If you take this route rather than the alternative via Burgos, they say, it will save you all of 2 minutes. Which raises one or 2 questions. Especially if you're driving to France.

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