Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 15.10.16

LIFE IN SPAIN

Acting First, Thinking Second: As I was leaving the café on La Coruña station yesterday evening, I picked up a rolled-up copy of El País from a shelf. When my friend, Eamon, pointed out it might have belonged to a nearby customer, I replied that, if it had, he would surely have told me; and that I now preferred to adopt the Spanish practice of acting first in my own interests and then, if necessary, apologising profusely later. Five minutes later, on the train, I put the paper on my (window) seat, along with my ticket, and went to see if I could find the Panama hat which I had, of course, left in the same carriage on the incoming train earlier in the day. I got back to find a young guy throwing the newspaper in the bin and my ticket on the floor. Acquainted with the facts, he apologised profusely. And sat in the aisle seat he'd been allocated. I rest my case.

The Perils of Living in Spain: According to The Local, these are the 10 “quirky habits” you will inevitably pick up if you live here. I admit to 5 of them:-
  1. Kissing people - even strangers
  2. Swooning over random kids
  3. Eating late 
  4. Swearing
  5. Barely tipping
  6. Treating everyone else on your birthday
  7. Cancelling if it's raining
  8. Being direct
  9. Following seasonal rules
  10. Eating standing up
Click here for more details.

SPANISH SOCIETY

What's Done and Not Done: Anyone interested in knowing the Spanish take on my contretemps with my neighbour, the lovely Ester, should read María's insightful comment to my post of yesterday.

Primary School Teachers: The ration of females to males here is 76/24 here but this is only the 5th highest in the EU, after Lithuania, Hungary, Eslovenia and Italy – in each of which females represent more than 90%. I would have thought the UK was even higher but possibly not. The EU average is 85/15, with Denmark(69/31), Germany (70/30) and Luxembourg(75/25) dragging it down.

Secondary School Teachers: The EU average of females to males is 64/36, against Spain's 56/44.

So . . . . In both primary and secondary education here, men are represented more than in most (?) EU countries. Which won't last, of course, especially in primary education.

SPANISH POLITICS

Cataluña: The ex-president, Artur Mas, is being taken to court for attempting to set up an independence referendum. That should calm things down up there.

Corruption: It's generally recognised that Spanish politicians and businessmen are the most corrupt in Europe. Instead of citing the cavalcade of investigations and court cases, I've added a schedule to my blog. See the end of this post for the first idiot's guide to what's currently being alleged by the police or the courts. I'll be adding new cases as they emerge, at the top, so the list could get quite long. Even by the end of October.

GALICIAN STUFF

Avoiding Damp: Here's an article that will be of special interest in anyone living in Green Spain. Where the colour is not an accident.

PERSONAL STUFF

Car Care: Arriving at my car yesterday evening, I noticed a new 30cm scratch along the front RHS bumper/fender. When the car was new, the first scratch - actually my fault - reduced me to despair. Now, I just shrug and cover them up with black electricians' tape - until I've got enough for a mass paint job. They're inescapable here, where 'kissing' is an established way of getting your car out of a 
tight space.

FINALLY

Words: The standard past participle of the verb 'to drag' is, of course, 'dragged', But yesterday I heard a US politician use 'drug'. Checking on the internet, I found this was a version used in some dialects. I'm guessing this was an English usage taken to the American colonies in the 16th century. Like 'spit' for 'spat' and 'gotten' for 'got'.

THE GALLERY

More examples of Finnish/British nightmares:-


CURRENT CORRUPTION CASES

The case
Who
Position
Allegation
Status
Gürtel/
Correa
37 politicians and businessmen
Senior position holders
Illegal party financing

Black Cards

Numerous ex-politicos and businessmen

Senior position holders
Use of 'black credit cards' to avoid taxation on income

Trial just started
Bog standard
case
Ventura Sierra Vázquez
The mayor of Vilareño de Conso, Galicia.
Falsification of docs and corrupt practices.

Trial just started
Bog standard
case
José Ramón [Nené] Barral
The ex-mayor of Ribadumia, Galicia
Money laundering and drug smuggling

Under investigation
Bog standard case
María Antonia Munar
Ex-president of the Balearics parliament
4m bribes for changing property
classifications
Awaiting sentence. 4 years demanded.

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