Saturday, July 11, 2015

Town v. Country; Uni. costs; The Dof E speaks out; New beggars; & A couple of questions.

The Spanish are urbophiles. They like to live in the city, preferably close to a bread shop. The British, on the other hand, tend to be campophiles. They prefer to live in the country. I was a little surprised to learn this week that the latter attitude is not remotely new and certainly goes back as far as the 14th century. As someone has written about London at that time - The first thing most prosperous merchants did with their wealth was buy a country estate.

I've mentioned that Spain overflows with the sort of 'postcode lotteries' that would be anathema in England. This reflects the regionalisation of Spain and the devolution of certain powers to 17 regional governments and their 'barons'. One such lottery is that of the cost of courses at a private university. These range from €5,400 in poor Extremadura to €9,300 in rich Pais Vasco. The national average is €6,500 and, surprisingly, Galicia is above this, at €6,800.

Wonderful. The Duke of Edinburgh - probably against protocol - tells a photographer to "Just take the fucking picture". So at least one of them is human. You can see this - and just about hear it - here.

Sitting in a cafe yesterday morning, I was twice approached by well-dressed young men for a cigarette. This seems more significant than the legions of beggars which comprises mostly drug addicts and old men with dogs who presumably don't get a good pension and don't have a supportive family. The men, I mean. Not the dogs. BTW - One of the young men begging a ciggie had a useful lighter to hand.

Finally . . . Did you know:-
1. The Greeks work more hours per week - 67 - than the Germans. That said, the productivity statistics may not bear comparison, and

2. You have to pay to get Spanish nationalisation, even if you fail the exam. Currently €75 euros, the cost will rise to €100 in October. Get your application in now.

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