Some weeks ago, President Rajoy sparked terror in the hearts of his cabinet by advising that, following poor election results, there'd be changes in early summer. These were announced this week and it turned out to be not so much The Night of the Long Knives as The Night of the Tiny Penknife. No one senior lost his/her post and the changes were, to say the least, minor. We probably should have expected this from the unimpressive, indecisive Rajoy. Who, unfortunately, fits the Galician stereotype held by other Spaniards.
Talking of which . . .
Those Funny Spanish: 8
- They don't have a real MP, with local links. They vote for a party, which then parachutes in someone they don't know, to 'represent' them.
- Not being terribly punctual themselves, they don't expect anyone else to display this virtue.
- They swear like troupers and many of their swearwords are disrespectful - to say the least - to Catholic beliefs and symbols.
- They have chicas to do almost everything around the house and can't understand why the British, for example, don't.
- They love humour and are a very appreciative audience.
- They can nearly all play the guitar brilliantly.
- They have about a hundred words for 'whore'. The male equivalent of each of these normally means something similar to 'likeable rogue'.
- They say "Yes, I will certainly come to your party" when they really mean "OK, unless I get a better offer between now and then."
Galicia lost 2,300 residents last year, when the outgoing 30,200 exceeded the incoming of 27,900. At this rate, I may be the only person here in 30 years' time.
Pontevedra's beggars are ever more numerous. One every 10 minutes, I calculated the other night. Apart from the 5-10 regulars, they seem to form a shifting population of down-at-heels, many of whom are skinny enough to be drug addicts. This has led me to wonder whether there isn't an agency - Beggars-R-Us? - which sends them from town to town in some sort of rotation. Incidentally, the least intrusive category of beggars is the well-dressed middle-aged man (and, occasionally, woman) who sits on a shop step, with a placard in front of him, saying nothing. I have seen members of this group in both Pontevedra and Vigo. Come to think of it, I was in Vigo on Friday night but I didn't see a single beggar meandering through either the outdoor tables or the teenage throng celebrating the last day of term. An illusion?
As you know, Christopher Columbus (Crístobal Colón) was born in my barrio of Poio, across the river from Pontevedra, where one of this ships (the Santa Maria) was built. And originally named La Gallega. His return to Poio was celebrated this week but, sadly, I again missed it and so have no fotos. Next year, I hope.
Finally . . . It's reported that many of the people attending the Battle of Waterloo 200 year anniversary commemoration are under the illusion that Napoleon won it. As perhaps he might if he hadn't had to leave the field for several hours because of a nasty bout of hemorrhoids. All that strutting about on a horse, I guess. Anyway, it seems the petty Brussels bureaucrats (is there any other sort?) have not been too kind to the folk commemorating the battle. The Duke of Wellington was stopped from walking up the battlefield monument and Napoleon had his car towed away. Sic transit gloria mundi.