Monday, March 02, 2015

Spring?; Petrol prices; Astrology; Spanish phrases/words; Earphones; & Pontevedra fotos.

Yesterday was the (unofficial) first day of spring here in Spain. And it really sprang in the bottom two thirds of the country, with temperatures of up to 25 degrees along the coasts. Up here in Galicia, the infamous Atlantic Blanket prevented me from seeing the bottom of my garden, never mind the city below me. And it's still like that today. It's at times like this that a foreign enclave down south seems enticing. Where is the hot weather we were promised 10 years ago that would make us the Riviera of Spain? Damn that Global Warming. Always late.

There was a huge surprise for us a few days ago - All the major petrol companies were convicted of operating a cartel and rigging prices. Who'd have thought it? And do the fines come anywhere near the extra profit they've made as a result? And is there sub-cartel here in Galicia, where the prices are the highest in the country?

Spain's Minister of Tourism has said that the Spanish "have an evident expressivity", whereas the Portuguese "tend more to introspection". For which read 'noisy' and 'quiet'.

I wrote yesterday od the English MP who wants astrology to be available on Britain's health service. This is pretty logical as I now learn he believes it offers cures for HIV, TB, malaria, urinary infections, diarrhoea, skin eruptions, diabetes, epilepsy, intestinal parasites, cancer and gangrene. "Among other conditions". Even better, he's accused sceptics of being superstitious and, of course, racist. I saw a practitioner of astrology in a TV debate yesterday who was as adamantine in her beliefs as any religious zealot. When challenged, she came out with the wonderful line: "You keep asking for proof. You disprove it!?" Again, just like a theist. There was also an Indian chap who said India had had genetic medicine thousands of years ago Otherwise, how could Ganesh have had the head of an elephant. How indeed.

Even ignoring hay (there is), the simple English verb 'to be' can take several forms in Spanish. For example: Estar; Ser; Se encontrar; Se hallar; Se quedar. And even Tener, in 'I'm hungry/thirsty/hot/cold'. The 3 reflexive verbs all have a primary meanings as well. No wonder things get a tad confusing at times.

Talking of Spanish . . . I saw this headline in a paper yesterday and wondered what the subject and object were: El arrastero 2.0 que quiere Vigo. Probably more obvious to a native speaker than a foreigner. Especially this one.

Still on Spanish . . . I saw a write-up of a comic last night, including the phrase: Sus mejores gags. Unless English pronunciation has been adopted, I'd hate hear this said the same way as Gijón.

Despite my fine for wearing earphones while driving, I still do so. But it means I have to be on the lookout for police patrols. Which are a regular feature of my barrio because of the 2 gipsy settlements at the bottom on the hill. Three times yesterday. Quite annoying. Even more so for the gipsies, I guess. 

Finally, HT to my friend Dwight for this gallery of aerial fotos of the coast of Pontevedera. The last 5 are of the city itself. The old quarter is to the left of the (circular white) bull ring. My house is up on the left, out of the picture.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

How, pray tell, can skepticism about astrology ever be racist? Unless we count it among Black Magic, of course..

Incidentally, my linguistic genius: if you do want to write down the infinitive of a reflexive verb in Spanish, your put the reflexive pronoun at the end of the verb. Encontrarse and so on.


Colin Davies said...

I knew that. I did it that way to clarify the 3 verbs.

BTW - There's no H in wiz kid. But there is in whiz kid.

Colin Davies said...

You can be racist if the astologer you're talking to is black, or yellow or brown. I guess. Racism lies in the mind of the hearer.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Who said Wiz Kid ???

Colin Davies said...

OK - Wizzkid.

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