Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nation states; Astrology; Cagar; Theft potential; Coño; Idiot driver; & Dentists.

The British philosopher Roger Scruton makes the interesting point that, although the founders of the EU believed nationalism bred by the nation state had caused WWII, this is very wrong. The cause of the war, he says, was German nationalism and peace was restored by the patriotism of Britain and other states. In contrast, this was indeed born of the nation state. No prizes for guessing if he supports this institution.

There's a British MP who sits on 2 House of Commons committees related to science and health. Which is odd as he thinks that a greater use of astrology would save GPs a lot of time and reduce the costs of the national health service. "Astrology" he asserts "is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart". As for those of us who reject this tosh, his response is: "People who oppose what I say are usually bullies who have never studied astrology." "Sure" he adds "astrology may not be capable of passing double-blind tests but it's based on thousands of years of observation". His name is David Tredinnick and he presumably believes the predictions he reads in the Daily Mail et al. There is, as yet, no requirement that British MPs should have an IQ above 50. And, believe it or believe it not, Mr Tredinnick chairs one of the 2 committees. So, what does this say about his fellow members who put him there? Are they having a laugh?

Another Spanish vignette . . . As I was walking along a street in town yesterday, a man came out of a bar in front of me. Another chap, coming towards us, recognised him and exclaimed "Buenos días, hombre!" His friend replied: "Buenos días, amigo. Me cago en díos!" Now, this means 'I shit on god' and I doubt he literally meant it. My guess is it's one of the rich lexicon of Spanish expressions using the verb cagar - 'I shit in your milk'; 'I shit on the woman who gave you birth'; 'I shit on the Host', for example - which the Spanish use to indicate either positive or negative emotions. Indicated by the context and the vehemence with which the phrases are uttered.

When I went for my ECG yesterday morning the nurse took me to a doctor's office, did what she had to do and departed, to give the results to the doctor. I was left alone to put my clothes back on and then leave. I couldn't help notice that there was a lot of stuff in the room that I could have knocked off. Unexpectedly, the nurse returned and told me we had to go to another office as the doctor preferred the machine in that one. So we went through the routine again and she once again went off to the doctor, having got exactly the same result. This time, I noticed that the stuff I could have walked out with included the doctor's laptop. I couldn't imagine this happening in the UK.

After the ECG, I went for my blood tests. I've been doing this annually for quite a while now and the guy who draws blood - so brilliantly you don't feel it - has become very friendly. This time I was able to give him some information on land for sale near my house, where he wants to live. During the lively conversation around details, he twice called me coño. Now, the English equivalent of this also starts with C and has an equal number of letters. I told him he should never use this in English and he was, of course, surprised as it's a term of endearment here. I told him what it meant in English and he protested that coño didn't mean 'vagina' but 'the front bits'. 'Oh, that's alright, then' I said. But I think the sarcasm was lost on him. 

Is there anything more unimpressive than an idiot who justifies his imbecility on a legal technicality? As I approached a roundabout this morning, I saw that the traffic coming from the left was moving only slowly through it because of an accident there but that my way through was open. As I moved to do so, I was blocked by a driver determined not to give me the 2-3 seconds it would take and which wouldn't affect his progress. And he was pointing at a yield sign which, if I'd obeyed, would have kept me there all day. He was, of course, driving a white van.

Finally . . . Here's rather large foto gallery of dental surgeries in the centre of Pontevedra. The first is the traditional 'brass plate' type, where the surgery is on one of the upper floors and is advertised via a hoarding at 1st floor level. And the other 5 are the new glass-fronted, ground-floor types, located in the main shopping streets. Clearly, some investors see this as a good business model.


Perry said...


Has there been any snow in Pontevedra? The Province of Leon is snowbound in some areas.

Colin Davies said...

No, just incessant drizzle down here on the coast.

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee said...

1) How long have you lived here and not have heard "me cago en dios?"

2) The phebotomist (the guy who takes your blood ) didn't call YOU "coño", he said it to you (though I admit I don't like hearing it either.

paideleo said...

Todos usamos " Me cago... " ou " Me cagho..." muitas veces. Xa dende pequenos aprendemos a dicir aos nosos fillos " Me cachis na mar " que de adultos é " Me cago na madre que te pariu " ou " Me cago en diez " que xa podes imaxinar en que evoluciona.

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