Monday, July 20, 2015

Fascist emblems; Tourism & the Gale贸n; Benidorm; Guiris; 2 guiris in particular; & A song for friends.

As Spain marks 40 years since the death of the monstrous Franco and the 79th anniversary of the start of its atavistic Civil War, the new left-of-centre mayors are finally planning to get rid of the residual monuments to the Fascists which should have disappeared long ago under the law. Not before time. I wonder if we'll see the removal of the 2 or 3 shields which adorn Pontevedra's granite walls.

Spain's tourist industry continues to grow apace, breaking records every year. Tourism, of course, is a killer of good service. A restaurant in Santiago appears to employ the only waitresses in the country incapable of a smile, even when they've been given a good tip. And serves atrocious Rioja. It's called Gale贸n Raina. The 2 comments on Trip advisor are: "Very good octopus" and "Losing clients". I can't vouch for the first but am not at all surprised by the second. Stay away.

Talking of tourism . . . Who - apart from the insufferable Alfie Mittington - knew that the original name for Benidorm was Ben-i-Darhm - 'The Sons of Darhm' in Arabic.

And talking of smiling . . . One of the easiest ways to raise a laugh in Spain - as a foreigner - is to call yourself a guiri. Your Spanish friends simply won't be able to suppress at least a smile at you using this pejorative term.

And talking of both tourism and guiris . . . Here's a foto of a couple of ladies whose behaviour much disturbed the calm of my evening tiffin. They're not good snaps but I had to be quick. I think they were Dutch, whom I've previously regarded as a reserved people. Obviously wrong. Luckily for them (or me), they'll never see these fotos:-

Finally . . . My thanks to my 3 friends who made it a weekend to remember. Especially to the one who broke the blind cord mechanism. And the one who left the garage door open so that all the neighbourhood moths could come into the house. Not to mention all the pigs who'd been sleeping there. This is the song which which I'll always associate them.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Since this is not Farsi, it really ought to be transcribed Beni Darhm (the 'i' is part of the first word, not some copula or article) and I actually seem to remember this 'Beni' is a singular, not a plural, so : Son of D., not Sons of D. But my Arabic, other than my medieval church Latin, is a little rusty. And my joints as well, so I'm too lazy to look this up.

Al-Fredo al-Londonensi

Colin Davies said...

Arabic term or phrase: beni English translation: children or descendants of

BANU and BANI(BENI) are the two inflections (nominative and accusative-dative-genitive, respectively) of a collective noun contracted from BANOON and BANEEN, which mean "sons of, but more generally, "children or descendants of."

Those words that begin with "Beni" (such as Benidorm) are what remain of the one-time Muslim tribal districts of Valencia. The word means "sons of" and in the Middle East and North Africa was commonly matched with a proper name to identify a tribe.

Thanks, InsufferabAL, for enlightening us via 10 minutes on Google.

Bill said...

The vernacular "beni", of which a more accurate transliteration from the Arabic would be "bani" or better still "banee", is the plural for "sons of" or "descendants of". The singular form is "ibn" or "bin".

Bill said...

Incidentally, whilst in informal Arabic it is generally ignored, there are in fact three forms for nouns in Arabic - singular, dual (two of) and plural, so for "two sons/descendants of" an accurate transliteration of the Arabic would be 'ibneen or baneen

Suzan Yahsi said...

Thank god they will never ever see them 馃槀

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Suzan. They made me laugh too. A lot!

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