I said yesterday that things were hotting up in Cataluña. Here's the estimable Don Quijoñes with his take on "A Hot September for Cataluña". As he, rightly, says: There is no escape valve for the pressures that are slowly building. Nor is there any hope of a negotiated settlement. Instead there is an escalating war of words and gestures, and a generalized climate of uncertainty, resentment and fear. This, he adds, is just one of the visible consequences of worsening regional tensions in Spain. Yet, although the slow-brewing conflict of words and gestures has the potential to unleash a maelstrom of unintended consequences, both within Spain and far beyond its borders, public figures on both sides of the divide continue to lock horns and ratchet up the pressure. Madness. But Spain is different. And President Rajoy is not given to conciliatory words on anything and appears to lack both negotiating skills and any degree of oratory beyond table-thumping.
Said Resident Rajoy has been pictured walking and talking in Germany with Mrs Merkel. Since neither speaks the other's language and Sr Rajoy doesn't speak English, one wonders how they were achieving the latter. But, anyway, one of the things the president later said to the media was that: "We are proud to be referred to as 'the Germans of the South'". Come again? Do we know who said this so that we can explore the comparison? Needless to say, Rajoy's trip to Germany had more to do with the upcoming general elections than anything else. Rubbing shoulders and elbows with the right people. In the absence of an ability to talk to them.
A classic Spanish lie, from Real Madrid: "The transfer documents arrived one minute past the legal deadline and we couldn't proceed with it". No one can be expected to believe this and Real Madrid knows that full well. But, as Hitler once said, "If you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one".
Another list from The Local: 9 reasons to come to Spain as an Erasmus student.
- You learn in English: Classes in local academies often include social nights, like bar-crawls.
- There's lots to explore: You’ll never be bored in Spain. Transport is cheap
- You can earn cash: Teaching English
- There are lots of saints. Meaning many fiestas, and plenty of days off because of them.
- There's the outdoor binge drinking: El botellón, which sees young people gather in parks or squares to drink and smoke.
- The museums are all free: They contain some of Europe’s finest work and Spanish artists have been pioneers of European movements of realism, surrealism and cubism.
- You get long holidays: Spain’s interior cities shut down for August as everybody flees the hellish heat to go to the beach. As an Erasmus student, by this point you’ll have tonnes of friends with whom you can roadtrip to the coast and revel in the summer fiestas.
- The Spaniards: You’re going to acquire lots of Spanish friends
More details here.
This article, featuring a rainbow flag, reminded me of my daughter's open-jawed astonishment that I didn't know that the same flag on the balcony of a Tiffintown bar had some significance. If you still don't know what it means, you need to get out even more than I do.
On Monday midday I parked my car on the other side of town when I went down for my daily tiffin, as I wanted to collect some smoked fish from a deli there. Getting back to my car after lunch, I noticed it either wasn't there or had been painted red. And then I realised I'd been on autopilot and walked to my usual place by mistake. I debated the options of walking back across town or toiling home up the steep hill and then collecting the car the next day, after lunch. Half-way up the hill - and sweating like half a pig - I recalled I was due to take my car to Vigo for a service at 8.45 the following morning. Which is how I came to be walking rapidly through the dark of the early morning yesterday. Despite this I still arrived late in Vigo. As if that mattered to anyone. BTW - This is not the first time I've arrived to find my car is elsewhere. And probably not the last. Would you believe it was during an alcohol-free week?
Finally . . . Here's a sight you don't often see from the terrace of my favourite tapas bar - A corner of Tiffintown's main square in the summer rain.
Another point of view . . . albeit a calumny:
It rained 40 days and 40 nights and they called it a flood. In Galicia we call it summer.