Saturday, March 12, 2016

One thing and another. Plus some nuns.

Sand: I mentioned this yesterday, in respect of one of Jávea's beaches. Now, you might think that, if you were going to build a high-speed train system between Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia, you'd think a lot about its properties. Well, possibly not in the case of the Spanish company which won the huge contract to build this and which now blames the serious delays on sand on the tracks. Details here. It looks like Spanish project partners argue as much as the country's politicians.

Spain's Tourism Business: It's an ill wind etc. and, thanks to the Zika virus and terrorist activities elsewhere, this is on the up and up. Places losing out include North Africa, Paris, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, South America and the Caribbean. Just what the poor Muslims there must have been praying for. As ever, the Brits are leading the way to Spain. Which reminds me . . . When I asked an (Argentinean) waiter yesterday whether Jávea was full of guiris in summer. He said not but that there were quite a few Belgians, Germans and Scandinavians. He added that he only regarded the Brits as guiris, which is an unflattering term for foreign tourists. Something to be proud of then. We stick out. Click this link for details on current British preferences.

Spanish usage: There are at least 2 ways of asking the question “Where are you going?” in Spanish: Formal/respectful: A donde va, usted? And informal: A donde vas? The same waiter decided to mix these and asked me: A donde vas, usted' In the face of this linguistic solecism, I was lost for an answer. I didn't know whether to be flattered or insulted.

Speed Bumps: Pontevedra and its environs are festooned with these and this week I finally learnt why some of them are 6”/15cm or more high - because the council dictated they be built to match the kerb, however high or low this was. And some of these are a bumper/fender-scratching 7 or 8””. But now these fools have belatedly decided it'd be better if bumps were built to a maximum height of 4"/10cm. Not that there's much space left for new ones. But maybe the old ones will be destroyed and new ones put in their place. Which should earn some nice commissions from the companies owned by relatives and friends.

Questions:
  • The Best Places for Tapas in Spain?: See here for The Local's view on this key issue.
  • Did You Know?: There are at least 4 languages in Britain and none of them is official. Not even English.

Finally . . . Meryl Streep is to star in a film about Florence Foster Jenkins, widely regarded as the worst ever opera singer, famous for her lack of rhythm, pitch, and tone; her aberrant pronunciation; and her generally poor singing ability. Click here and here for hilarious examples of what all this results in. She was, by the way, self-financed. Which won't come as much of a surprise after you've had a listen to only 5 seconds' worth of one of these.

The FB foto of the day: 

Here's my Coruña friend Eamon's pastiche of a foto I posted recently, featuring one of the Somali nuns who were forcibly cloistered in some Spanish convent. As Eamon points out, these were all above 5 feet/150cm and, therefore, illegal in Spain, where all nuns are tiny. So they had to be locked away, even though they were below the average height for Somali women, of 5 foot 7/170cm:




1 comment:

Sierra said...

Hope none of the tourists read the UK newspapers of 4th February, when most had an headline along the lines:

"First Zika pregnancy case in Europe as Spanish woman tests positive for the virus"

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