Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The EU; Spanish v English; Iran; Ponters' shops; Spanish kissing; & Insurance bastards.

Who would have thought the formation of the EU would lead to a to-the-death fight between an all-powerful Germany and a weak Greece? Or between an all-powerful Germany and any other country? Well, a few did, I believe. But they were dismissed as idiots. Or as xenophobes. Or at least as outrageous pessimists. Maybe it'll all be alright on the night. When it finally arrives.

The place in which boxers slug it out is called a 'ring' in English but a cuadrilátero (square) in Spanish. The latter is more logical but 5 times longer than the English. Which sums up the two languages essentially. Both of them wonderful, of course.

Having much enjoyed living there 'back in the day', events in Iran continue to interest - and sadden - me. This week a magazine has been banned just for discussing cohabitation. This is a crime in Iran, even though the Mullahs continue to allow the 'temporary marriages' (sigheh) which are routinely used to make prostitution legal. Only priests are capable of such sophistry.

The retail scene in Pontevedra city continues to dumbfound me. Streets I haven't visited for while in the old quarter have lost some - or even all - of their shops and in the newer north of the city a café I used to frequent has closed and new outfits - such as the car windscreen place I needed - have opened up. In an expensive street in the old quarter, a high-end shop (anyone remember the €850 wood and leather chair?) has finally been succeeded by another 'vintage' shop. 'Vintage' meaning 'previously owned'. Or even 'second hand'. Some of its items look like they cost their ex-owners a package. Bad times. 

Finally . . . No one will be surprised to hear there's a lot more public kissing here in Spain than in the UK. But I was still a little taken aback yesterday when the woman who called me from an internet provider finished our conversation with 'Un besito'. A little kiss. Perhaps she was seduced by the unwitting sexiness of my congestion-affected voice. I just wish I could bottle it.

The agent handling my insurance claim has just called and finished the conversation with "Un besito". But she's a neighbour, so that's OK. BTW - She's telling me the insurance company is rejecting a claim because the police officer wrote 'a collection' of coins, making these (for them) a single unit the value of which exceeded some limit or other. Such are the ways of these people. We fight on.

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