Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ponters Pensées: 13.7.16

The Santiago Rail Crash of 2013: This caused around 80 deaths, as I recall. Despite plenty of apparent evidence and to widespread astonishment/cynical laughter, the official investigation concluded that no executives of the rail companies were guilty of anything. All was the fault of the driver alone, even though a proper safety system hadn't been installed, on cost grounds. And even though drivers had previously recorded it was an accident waiting to happen. So, it's no great surprise that Brussels has now declared it wasn't a 'proper' investigation and asked the Spanish government to think hard about re-doing it. But Brussels won't be 'pressurising' Madrid in any way. So I think we can guess what the politicians and courts will do. Sweet FA. Oh, and there won't be any resignations either. Not a Spanish thing.

Spanish Views of Britain: The Brexit development has encouraged Spanish columnists to have a go at the UK. Fair enough but some of them don't seem to have too good an understanding of the place. A common theme is that Britain has never really been part of Europe. A typical article this week spoke of Fahrenheit and feet, inches and miles. But both of my daughters are in their 30s and are totally unfamiliar with these.

Words: A couple more oddities:-
Un Reto Non Stop
El Citroen C4 Cactus Rip Curl - Con Grip Control

Ponters Tourism: Spanish tourism took off in the late 60s, when Franco's regime opened up the place to wicked foreigners. It's taken the subsequent 50 years for the Pontevedra  council to arrive at the conclusion that it might not be wise to have regional, provincial and city tourist agencies competing with each other via separate offices and kiosks around the the city. So, now these are going to be fused. We wait to see how successfully. And whether anyone ever goes to the Rias Baixas - southern Galicia - office in the magnificent pazo in Plaza de Santa Maria. If it's retained.

Parking in Ponters: The council has announced there'll be 66 parking spaces on the site of an old paper factory on the outskirts of town. Looking for somewhere to park on a Sunday morning yesterday, it struck me that I could easily arrive within 5 minutes at more than double that total of spaces removed from the city's roads in the last decade or so. And then we have the recent reduction of free spaces in the centre – both in the squares and the roads – to 15m slots. So a certain ambivalence towards cars and motorists. I imagine the new parking will be free. For a while.

Finally . . .  Cycling in Pontevedra: Blow me down but there was a a full page article in La Voz de Galicia on Sunday last demanding that the law be applied to the bastards who use the pavement/sidewalk instead of the road. Or cycle through the pedestrian areas. This, he said, should be done whether or not the council accedes to demands for two-way cycle lanes in one-way streets. The writer spoke of public anger but folk must keep this well hidden. For the only person I've ever seen irritated by nuisance cyclists here is me. And I'm certainly the only person who carries a stick horizontally so that they have to slow down or even stop.


Perry said...

Other countries, other cultures, some with bizarre senses of humour. I cannot understand the motive behind this series of videos.

OTOH, vibrancy!

Colin Davies said...

Loved the dancing. Lost on the rest!