Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 15.11.16

SPANISH LIFE/CULTURE

Driving in Spain: I saw a Spanish article yesterday highlighting the 10 most important things to keep in mind. Here's number 10: The indicators are not adornments. They're used to signal turns and changes of lane. Albeit less and less frequently. I can vouch for that. And also for the fact that, when used, they can make no sense at all. So, 'silence' is to be preferred.

Average Monthly Salaries in Spain: These range from €2, 666 a month (14 times a year) in Madrid to €1,550 in Extremadura. Galicia, at €1,781, ranks a creditable no. 11. Or, as the local paper puts it - 7th from the bottom.

New Spanish Verb: Watsapear.

Hyperbole: This is an ever-present feature of Spanish life. I could swear I read that the supermoon was called here la mega-extra-superluna. But maybe it was me who described it thus. Perhaps it was just la megasuperluna.

SPANISH POLITICS

Motormouth Margallo: Astonishingly, the guy who appeared to favour foghorn confrontation over Gibraltatar has now criticised Sr Rajoy for not favouring dialogue with Cataluña. Mind you, he has recently been sacked and might just bear a grudge against his 'old friend'.

THE EU

Trump et al: Have you seen and heard what a great job the continental leaders are doing in insulting and alienating the US electorate? Not to mention the new government. Perhaps they're trying to out-juncker President Wanker. Arrogant and short-sighted.

ELSEWHERE

The USA: I mentioned Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin yesterday, in the context of finding something from the election result to laugh about. Here(2008) and here(2016) are videos featuring the wonderful Bill Maher on these ladies. It seems Bill was far too optimistic 8 years ago in announcing that Republicans had finally realised that Palin really was a loopy as she'd been painted. The guy who is to be Trump's chief strategic adviser - Steve Bannon - has actually made an adulatory film about her - "correcting the meme" - under the title: The Undefeated. And, as reported, she's being touted for a cabinet position. Only in the USA?

A nice topical cartoon from The  Daily Telegraph . . .
LOCAL STUFF

My Parking Fine: Having confirmed there was nothing I could do to challenge this without running a high risk of paying double the amount, I went yesterday to the Collection Office where I used to pay fines years ago. I knew that the system had changed since 'back in the day', as I'd later had to go to a subsidiary office. But I also knew that the latter had closed and hoped the system had reverted. It turns out I can only pay the 100€ into a branch of the bank - Abanca - which was the result of fusing Galicia's 2 corrupt caixas a few years ago. And which, incidentally is owned by the Venezuelan bank, Banesco. So, now I will hie myself there today and find out whether they will only accept payments between, say, 8am and 10am. If so, I will have to make my third attempt to settle my dues tomorrow. Which just happens to be the deadline date before they double the fine. Hey ho.

Pontevedra Living: My thanks again to my friend, David, for another eulogy to my city. Regular readers will know I'm not too happy about the 'innovative' 30kph speed limit up my steep hill. Nor about there being more and more cyclists weaving rapidly through pedestrians in the centre of town. But I wouldn't want to sound like a curmudgeon . . .

Beggars: Yesterday lunchtime I was assailed by 3 of these within 2 minutes. None of whom took well my refusal to succumb to their pleas. A short while later, I was approached by a chap who's been trying to haul himself up by his bootstraps, by hawking second-hand books around town. And I was pleased to be able to buy from him a lovely coffee-table tome on Mesopotamia and to give him the price he wanted for it. But I felt  a little guilty later because I would happily have given him more. Though not for long, of course. It's a tough world and the devil takes the hindmost.

FINALLY

Google +: The Pope's legions continue to defeat me in my attempts to stop them spamming my page. I've now taken the unhappy step of precluding anyone else but me from posting there. Up to now, I've confined this to people in my Circles, which they weren't. And yet somehow they've kept getting past Google's filters. If they still manage this, I might start believing in miracles. Or in retaliation from Moscow for all the nasty things I say about RT TV. That terrifically unbiased channel which is essential viewing if you really want to know what's going on in the world. Outside Russia, that is.

4 comments:

Maria said...

You could also go into dgt.es and pay the fine online by credit card. I once waited until a half hour to midnight on the last day I could pay with the discount, just so my credit card would bump my payment into the next month. I had to pay anyway, but it felt good to deny it till the last possible minute. I felt like I was sticking the finger to them. "You want my money? You wait, a@#%/!#s!"

Perry said...

Mirror, signal, manoeuvre. Too hard for most foreign motorists visiting the UK! I give B stickered cars plenty of room. Not that I am biased, of course!

http://www.autocar.co.uk/opinion/anything-goes/who-are-worst-drivers-europe

Sierra said...

Further update on petrol prices - returning to Galicia today - filled up at a very small Repsol station on the A6 at Arévalo in Avila, and 95 petrol was 1.079/ltr - Murcia 1.199; next Repsol station on A6 was 1.139. Why is Avila so cheap - doesn't look like a place with local refineries? The mysteries of the cartels

Colin Davies said...

Did you check how much Avilan fuel actually went into your tank . . . ._

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