The Spanish are So Rude: Well, no. They're not really. And they can be extremely polite. 'Noble' even. The trouble is that 3 factors combine to make Spaniards do things that other people don't do – like virtually walk into you in the street – and this certainly makes them seem rude. With apologies to long-term readers who've heard all this before, these are those factors:-
- Spaniards have no concept of personal space. They have no problem with people being 'in their face'. Or with strangers only making a (reciprocal) half-attempt to move out of the way at the very last moment. That's just life here. Irritating as it can be.
- Spaniards don't have a good radar system. Nor antennae. Until you're introduced to them and things get 'personal', you really don't exist. So no consideration is owed to you. Once things are personal, they are extremely polite and gracious. So, rather black and white.
- Spaniards can be very thought-less. By which I mean they don't think much about the interests of others. This, I believe, stems from their upbringing. One rarely hears Spanish kids being told to be quiet because there are, say, adults in the place trying to read. Or listen to the music. Or even watch one of the ubiquitous bloody café/bar TVs. Nor do you see kids being reprimanded for kicking a ball into your shins. Or for cycling across your path, within a foot(30cm) of your legs. And even in school corridors you don't see the teachers telling the little rug-rats to be quiet. Or at least less noisy.
That's my take anyway. Feel completely free to disagree.
Not only in Andalucia: No, not corruption this time, but house demolitions. HT to reader Siera for the news that 154 buildings have recently been knocked down here in Galicia because they were illegal. Or because the owners weren't powerful enough. I don't see any mention of the house of an ex-Minister built and expanded illegally close to the sea along our coast.
Driving Licence Points: Another HT to Sierra, I think, for the rider that one's 12 points can increase to 15, if you keep your nose clean for a few years. So, a mixture of losses and gains. How do you achieve this? – with apologies again for repetition – You never take your hands off the steering wheel nor your eyes off the road; you never switch on anything that might distract you; you never move your head; and, most importantly of all, you never, ever drive above 50km outside a town or above 30 in a town. Possibly 25 in some. That should keep you safe from blood-sucking. Of course, the alternative is just to get on with life and regard the fines you'll surely accumulate as a part of your total income tax.
Spanish Banks: Still in trouble. Well, the BBVA anyway. Here's Don Quijones on their latest woes and moans.
English, Spanglish: I was, anyway, going to provide this list of words that the Spanish Royal Academy is very unhappy about. But now I read that it has initiated an ad campaign against the 'invasion' of English words. Which will surely be a glorious (vainglorious?) failure. You can see it -and laugh at it? - here. And these are the detested words. Or some of them, at least. Since the acronym of the academy is RAE, I call this RAEling against English. Geddit? . . . ecofriendly, light, influence, founder, cool, vintage(meaning 2nd hand), spot, after, after-work, hipsters, streaming, running, casting, selfie, and underground.
Spanish English: Not to be outdone, The Local has come up with 10 words that were originally English but have now been taken into Spanish and re-invented. See here
Finally . . . Daft English Words: Advertising is, of course, rife with nonsensical words and phrases. The most recent I've heard is your hair-cleaning ritual. Or 'shampooing' as we used to call it.