Saturday, August 08, 2015

Picaresque; Police (in)action; The legal system; Celtic Galicia; Carallo; Denizens of Tiffintown; & Parking.

Reader Fer R told us the other day of his ability to get out of trouble with officers of the law by adopting a picaresque approach to the problem. This is quality which Spaniards have long been said to admire. Here's one definition of the word: Of or involving clever rogues or adventurers. And then there's the picaresque novel: Of or relating to a genre of usually satiric prose fiction originating in Spain and depicting in realistic, often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero of low social degree living by his or her wits in a corrupt society. Thinking a bit about this, I decided that one good translation of picaresque must be 'chancer'. Anything better?

The Spanish local police may not be terribly interested in minor offences such as removing the silencer from your scooter engine, riding your bike on the pavement(sidewalk), ignoring noise restrictions or parking your car on a zebra crossing, but in one holiday resort they'll confiscate any stuff you leave on the beach early in the morning to stake out your claim for the day. "It’s a question of justice," said the mayor, justifying his "pioneering" initiative. German holidaymakers are said to be revolting. More here on this.

Talking of excessive noise . . . This and a sluggish legal system are 2 of the problems regularly encountered in Spain. If you're really unlucky, both at the same time. Such was the fate of a family in Meliana in Valencia who wanted to stop the noise from a social club in their building. Despite the fact the club was unlicensed, it took all of 16 years to achieve this. In fact, it took 8 years for the local authorities to get round to inspecting the place. And then they failed to act on the report. One wonders why.

Celtic Galicia: Reader Cossue has kindly provided evidence that the Celts really were here before the Romans. Well, yes, I've no doubt they were but my point has long been that they were also in other parts of northern Spain and Portugal. What amuses me is attempts to differentiate Galicia from the rest of Spain by suggesting the Celtic presence was unique to this region. And, even more so, that the bagpipe(gaita) is a Galician invention. And that the 'national' costumes are anything more than inventions of the 18th century Romantics/Nationalists. As in Scotland. The real problem, of course, is that there are no Celtic words - or very few, at best - in the Galician language. Which is also true of English, by the way.

Carallo: Reader Maria has kindly provided the translation of a couple of the phrases I was struggling with yesterday:-
Salíume DE carallo - I did it beautifully; a once in a lifetime result (Can also be sarcastic for an unexpected and unwanted result). Literally - 'It came out to me of prick'.
Salíume DO carallo - I did it the way I wanted to; don't mess with me. Literally - 'It came out to me of the prick".
Isn't language wonderful?

Tiffintown: Can there be any other town in Spain (the world even) where the number of beggars is only exceeded by the number of slim women in short shorts or tight denim jeans? Not that all of the women are pretty or all the beggars ugly, of course. On second thoughts, all the latter certainly are unprepossessing.

Finally . . . Last night I came home to see there was space enough for 3 cars in front of my house. So, as ever, I was considerate and parked so as to ensure that another 2 cars would easily fit in. This morning I went out to find one of my neighbours had parked smack in the middle of the space I'd left, ensuring that no other car could fit in on either side of hers. A classic. "Others? What others?"

4 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


"Cerveza" os reputedly a word of Celtic origin.

Draw your own conclusions.

Al Coholic

Alfred B. Mittington said...


"Cerveza" is reputedly a word of Celtic origin.

Draw your own conclusions.

Al Coholic

Lenox said...

Comes from the French 'cervoise', peutêtre...

Fer R said...

The RAE supports the celtic hypothesis. And the RAE is always right, as everybody knows.


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