Saturday, August 06, 2016

Ponters Pensées: 6.7.16

Profitable Politics: Spain boasts 17 heads of municipal, provincial and regional governments who earn more than the (acting) national President. Doubtless they're all well worth it. The head of the list is the Catalan president, who earns 84% more than Sr Rajoy. Which is logical, I guess, as the Catalans regard themselves as being several cuts above the rest of Spain.

Spanish Stereotypes: Here's The Local's list of these. Click here for their view of how accurate they are:-
  • Spaniards leave home much later than everyone else
  • Spaniards are all lazy
  • Spaniards are bloodthirsty
  • Spain is all about sun, sea and sangria
  • Spaniards do everything late
  • Spaniards are really loud
  • Spain is a tourist’s paradise
  • Spain stops for a siesta
  • Spain is hugely corrupt
  • Religious and conservative
  • Spaniards love to party
  • Everyone loves flamenco
The United States: An exhortation you often hear or see there is God bless America. If the presidential election is anything to go by, He's clearly not listening. Assuming He (or She) exists, of course. Which is open to debate. At the very least.

Spanish Default: EU emission targets are being handsomely missed, it says here.

Andalucía: This is the region which everyone confuses with the whole of Spain. It's renowned for its poverty and its corruption. The former might not be quite as bad as the official figures suggest - no one believes the official unemployment statistics, for example - but the region's reputation for corruption is surely well-deserved. As El Mundo recently reported: As part of the perennial illegal financing scandal in Andalucía, the Servicio Andaluz de Empleo doled out over €100m to a clutch of 45 companies which ‘were close to the [ruling]PSOE party or the regional government.’

Galician Gorrillas: As opposed to gorillas. These are the men who 'help' you to park in places where its free to do so. And then hold out a hand for a coin or two. They're a bloody nuisance, of course, but only the cities of Santiago and Ourense here in Galicia have effectively banned them. Pontevedra certainly hasn't and I live in fear that one will suddenly appear in my 'secret' parking place down by the river.

Finally . . . Here's one of our vicious seagulls doing something extraordinary - eating a fish. More usually they go for the tapas on your table or the ice-cream in your hand.


1. In response to (any) future negative consequences of Brexit, I can take out either Irish or Spanish nationality. With the former, I can keep my UK nationality but not so with the latter. The British journalist and writer, Giles Trimlett, has initiated a campaign aimed at changing this situation. Read more about it here.

2. If you're thinking about the Spanish route, you should know that, as of October, both the bureaucracy and the cost will increase. Surprise, surprise.


Here's Eamon's view of what will happen when the brambles take over our contenadores . . .


Diego said...

I'm curious, why can´t you keep both nationalities? is it a Spain, UK or Europe problem? I have two, spanish and venezuelan and no one cares a bit. Thanks.

Colin Davies said...

Simples: The Spanish govt. won't let me. The 'loophole' is that they don't actually take your British passport off you, I'm told.

Unknown said...

Dear Colin
We absolutely love your blog.
My family fell in love with Spain and we are coming soon to Pontevedra (18th August 2016). I have read your blog and I am very worried with one thing - gypsies, Romanians and African beggars on the street? Is it common? Is it safe to live in Pontevedra? We love all about Galicia but worried very much about safety. We were hoping it will be less touristic and we will be able to mix into the local Galician culture. Please kindly let know more about these issues? My email Best regards!! Margaret

Colin Davies said...

Absolutely nothing to worry about, Margaret. Just an occasional nuisance and can just be ignored. When you get to paradise, come and say hello in Meigas Fora. But don't tell anyone this is my favourite watering hole for my daily tiffin. Your comments are much appreciated. But keep Ponters a secret . . .

Margaret Kos said...

Thanks a lot Colin for your reassurance. Thanks for all lovely and informing posts about caminos and your experiences, I keeep reading all your posts (still in 2016 though!) so still a few years of your adventures to enjoy!

Joanna, my 13 years old daughter wants to learn Spanish fluently and this is the main reason for our move. However I must admit for me and Andrew, this is biggest dream. We want to learn language too and travel and walk wherever we can (Galicia, Asturia and Cantabria and Portugal of course). We will come over to Meigas Fora and introduce ourselves. Best wishes and lovely summer for all your friends and family! Margaret

Colin Davies said...

Ok. Trust you have read everything at about Galicia and Pontevedra. Tho bit out of date now. Look forward to meeitng you. See if you are thinking of buying here.

Margaret Kos said...

Yes we would like to buy one day, first need to sell our house! Thanks for the contact we will use it for sure.
it turns out we have a little problem. my daughter is admitted to SEK Atlantico Boa Vista in Pontevedra, a lovely bilingual private school! one of best in Spain. we were going to rent a house in Poio, 2 km from the school. we talked about it with the agency for last 2 months, we were asking for a rental agreement but they have delayed - at the same time saying ''no problem'' and the owner wants to rent it. we were bombarded with phone calls from the agency..
Today I have received an email from an agent saying the owner changed his mind and will be selling instead. we would like to come over, school wants to admit Joanna and I was so glad as it was not easy to get in.. Joanna continued learning Spanish over skype with a private teacher (even now on holidays she has 5 hours online and a few hours of homework per week). I do not know what to do now. I checked all houses on and, talked to so many agents, spent countless hours on the websites - truly at least 300 hundred hours now in total. No houses available to rent or only for summer till September (probably summer cottages). Perhaps you know someone in the area who may want to rent out? Up to 1000 Euro a month is our budget. If you accidentally know someone who want a genuine family please do let us know. We already done all travel arrangements and plan to arrive to Pontevedra on 18th August (in the evening). If you think we shall cancel all as no chances to rent out please let me know your thoughts. I've read about your daughters and you seem to understand the value of education as you educated them at Oxford University and both are talented and doing well. I have received the message from the agent a few hours ago and I do not want to give up as all family is prepared for this adventure and we are packed too. We also have all funding necessary and online jobs that will secure us for the years to come. Best regards, Margaret

Colin Davies said...

Hi again, Margaret. I live a few yards from the SEK. WEll, maybe 300. I can see it as I write. Elena Lino knows all the agents - not all of whom like her representing the buyers' interests - and I have asked her to check with all of them re accomm. Not a good time as anyone here rentin mid summer is going all out for profit. As it happens, one of my heighbours wants to rent out but they are seeking rather more than that. But they haven't got anyone yet. So I will ask them.

Are you looking for a long trerm rent of a year or more? I have agent contacts in town but am reluctant to talk to them just yet as I've given them several false dawns . . . And would a short term rent be OK so that you have time to look further. There is plenty of rental property in the city. I would not be pessimistic yet.

Pls write to this email address and I will respond from that -

Colin Davies said...

Margaret: BTW. . . .1,000/m is a lot here. I don't envisage any difficulty for a rent from September onwards and probably not before. As I say, many properties lie empty. The agents are not to be fully trusted, on anything. If the worst comes to the worst, there is reasonable hotel accomm for a while in Poio. For example . . . . Oct-Nov prices at a hotel in walking distance from the SEK:;sid=c509c4456b91f5d321847ebbcb32d00a;dcid=12;checkin_monthday=3&checkin_year_month=2016-10&checkout_monthday=1&checkout_year_month=2016-11&dist=0&do_availability_check=1&group_adults=2&sb_price_type=total&tab=1&type=total&

Dubtless a better deal could be done direct.

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