Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Corruption; Noise; Gib; Poor dining; Flashing; Swatting; & A great little film.

Here's news of a wonderful way to satirise Spain's endemic corruption.

Noise: Even the locals can get upset by this here in Spain. After the late-night concert in nearby Sanxenxo ('The Marbella of Galicia') last night, thousands of both residents and attendees complained about the decibel levels. Those of you unfamiliar with Spain might find it difficult to conceive just how loud these must have been to get this reaction. But the same comment applies to the first concert of our our fiesta week last Saturday. This was so deafening we had to take a detour to bypass the square in which it was being held on the way home from dinner. Hard rock, I believe. I couldn't believe it when a friend told me later how musical the group had been. But he plays bass guitar, so he should know. Perhaps.

What are the most disappointing tourist spots in the world? Well, one of them is certainly Gibraltar, especially if you've waited 4 hours on the Spanish side of the border to get into it. As someone has written of the place: This British Overseas Territory isn't quite British and it's not quite Spanish, either. You might say it's the worst of both. It packs in a ton of tourists and charges them accordingly. There's not much to see besides a boring rock, some fake British pubs, and gaggles of wild macaque monkeys that like to prey on tourists. That was certainly my experience a couple of decades or so ago. But perhaps things have improved since then. Hopefully it will be Spanish one day and gain some character. I do hope the Gib Tourist Board isn't reading this . . .

My visitors and I went to a nearby tourist trap for dinner the other night. Needless to say, the food was a disappointment and the service pushy. "You'd better order quickly as there will be a lot of customers" and "Here's your [unrequested] bill". But there were amusing moments. One of the young diners couldn't stand to see the eyes of the fish. Hence this expedient:-

And here are some pilgrim octopi awaiting carving:-

The local newspaper had this headline above fotos of the debs of last Saturday's ball: Flashes and Smiles in the Liceo Casino. 'Flashes' was given in English, by the way.

I mentioned that I'd bought a new-fangled fly-swat, called (as I recall) the Buzz-Swat. So fed up am I with the legion of beggars assaulting us this summer, I'm now working on a scaled-up version, to be called the Beggar-Swat. More data soon.

Finally . . . I saw a reference yesterday to "the greatest US short story ever - Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and wondered whether this was the origin of an (obviously) memorable film I saw way 'back in the day'. And so it turned out to be. Here's the film. I hope you enjoy it as much as did.


Eamon said...

Spain needs Gibraltar like she needs a hole in her head. Basques, Catalans and Gallegos all fretting over independence so Spain wants a group of Gibs to add to the problem. I went to Gibraltar in 1964. I have fond memories of walking up a hill and walking down again. I can't believe I spent a whole day there.

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

I have no particular views about Gibraltar's sovereignty, but it seems to me that Spain would have a better chance of winning the hearts and minds of Gibraltarians with overt friendship rather than petty unpleasantnesses. I've never been there, either when I lived in Morocco (Casablanca) in the 1970s or since I bought a holiday home in Spain some 10 years ago, although I have visited areas close by (I've been a sherry drinker since my early 20s so visiting Jerez was a great pleasure).

And speaking of Morocco, I heard just the same inflexibility and intransigence from Moroccans on the subjects of Ceuta ('Sebta') and Melilla in the mid-1970s as one hears too often today from the Spanish authorities. It is counter-productive in both situations. I'd imagine the British government would be overjoyed for Gibraltar to pass under Spanish sovereignty if Gibraltarians themselves wanted it, but whilst the current foolishness on the part of the Spanish authorities persists then I cannot see that ever happening. The ball really is in Spain's court I think.