Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 23.11.16

SPANISH LIFE/CULTURE

Sexism: A woman on British TV posed the very modern question: When does a complement about a woman become sexism. I don't know about the UK but I suspect the Spanish answer is Nunca. Or Never.

Driving in Spain: As readers will know, it pays to be vigilant here. I've just read a report of a driver who was extremely drunk at the wheel. And driving down the wrong side of an autovia. On only 3 wheels. . . . On early Sunday morning, after a night on the tiles. Details here. Including a police video. 

Renting out Properties: Whether you're a non-resident foreigner or a Spaniard with one or more empty properties, it's getting harder and harder to stay within the (inevitably) counter-commerce law and to meet your taxation obligations. Getting due income tax is, of course, a legitimate state aim. Protecting the hotel industry from fair competition surely isn't. The Spanish state, though, tends to regard anything threatening the monopolies of its friends as competencia desleal. Unfair(disloyal!) competition.

THE UK

University: When I went, I was among only 7% of the population who did this. And, back then, only 1 to 2% of students got a first class degree. Now, a vastly greater percentage get to uni and more than 25% get the top degree. Obviously, kids are a lot cleverer these days. 

GALICIAN STUFF

Wolf at the Door: It does happen. To the detriment of small dogs. See here. I'm a great admirer of wolves but not fond of small dogs. So I'm a tad ambivalent about this report.

LOCAL STUFF

THE CORRUPTION CAVALCADE

Ex-leader of Estepona town hall Antonio Barrientos will give evidence on December 1 over alleged crimes including money laundering, embezzlement and bribery while he was in power.  See here for more.

THE GALLERY


FINALLY

Breakfast: I dislike supermarket shopping and postpone it to the extreme. One result is that I occasionally have nothing at all to eat of a morning. Today, though, I realised I had flour and milk and could make pancakes. I didn't bother to check qunatities, so my first attempt was more like a blanket than a pancake:-

My second attempt - with a diluted mix - was a total disaster . . .


 As was my third . . .


But this didn't matter as, by this time, having sprinkled sugar and sprayed lemon juice on the first one, I'd enjoyed it and couldn't contemplate eating for the rest of the day  . . .

10 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Making pancakes without eggs or sugar is like Picasso painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon without blue and without oil. Get yourself an emergency box of Kellogg's Cornflakes, you fool!

Incidentally: is it really 'fair' competition which Airbnb etc etc is doing to hotels? Hotels need licenses, registration, personel which pays their premiums, regular health & hygiene controls, VAT payments, insurance, publicity and some level of behavioral control. These Rent-My-Place-While-I'm-Away do not, in practice. And as they attract the lowest kind of brainless, hedonistic, libertine millennium tourists, this new form of private hostelry is destroying inner cities in such places as Amsterdam, Venice and Barcelona. So I earnestly wonder if it is a good idea to elbow the classical hotel out of its niche in favor of the new iPhone system of hostelry. Yes, you will get cheaper lodging; but it comes at an - immaterial - price which may well be a lot higher than what you gained in dimes and quarters.

PhilosophicAl

Colin Davies said...

I heard you stayed in cheap places when young. Albeit official.

Colin Davies said...

And that you weren't exactly an asset to the cities you visited . . .

Alfred B. Mittington said...


I stayed in VERY cheap HOTELS all over the globe when young…

And I definitely WAS an asset to the cities which I joined…

For starters: I DID spend some of my (own) money

And I did NOT run around in limousines, having champagne dinners with the most suspect ruling classes of Third World Countries…

Paid for by suspect multinationals...

Like some people I know …

HumbAl

PS: what does any of that have to do with the virtues or lack thereof of AirBnB?

Colin Davies said...

Begging with a guitar does not rank as an urban asset to me . . . Even if you did use your ill-gotten gains to pay for a room in a flea pit. And to keep the local booze and fag sellers in clover . . . You should write about those days. Some of us might pay to read about them. Though I pity the poor subeditors. . . .

Alfred B. Mittington said...



But none of this has ANYTHING to do with your inane comments on how a conspiracy of Hotel Monopolies and the Government (and the CIA, and the FBI, and the KGB, MI6, MI7 and MI8) are ganging up on poor digital Freedom Fighters who, with their iPhones and their digital savvy, offer nearly costless lodging to young, creative, peaceful, artistic idealists to stay in fashionable cities all over the globe so as to stimulate Peace on Earth and Diversity and Insect Human Rights and Pot for All…

Oh, the Horror of it!!!

Fascists are everywhere, are they not??

SarcasticAl

Colin Davies said...

In Spain, as you know, every one is a fascist to someone.

Eamon said...

SarcasticAl it is true that hotels have overheads that must be paid for but they have ruined it for people like myself. Up until the middle 70s I could travel all over Spain with my fake ID and at just about every bus and train station there were little old ladies who would approach me offering a cheap room. Usually in a district which was a bit rundown and they couldn't care less who I was. I was always in safe hands and no one asked for ID or reported my arrival to the police. Hotels have sprung up everywhere and ruined that good life style. They have driven those little old ladies away and ruined their lively hood which is a shame. Now one needs a couple of fake IDs to travel from hotel to hotel in fact it is no longer worth coming to Spain to get away from it all as it was years ago.

Alfred B. Mittington said...



Dear Eamon,

Being likewise an man of some years and an old hand at traveling Spain, I remember those little old ladies only too well. They were the ones who ran the fondas, and made the endless supply of cheap, tasty tapas in the bars throughout Spain - often working for slavish wages. However, I wonder if we can really blame the hotel industry for their disappearance. Two other developments were surely just as influential: the first being the introduction of old age pensions by the first Gonzalez governments; the other the introduction of VAT back in - if I remember well - 1985 or '86. The former stripped away a major reason why the little old ladies would still be working their behinds off while in their late 60s or early 70s; the latter decreased their incomes and so inspired many to simply terminate their economic activity. And then on top of that, Spaniards as a whole got vastly more wealthy, and developed a far more 'pijo' taste for hostelry (and much else) as soon as they could afford it. So the 19th C country and culture, of which you and I enjoyed seeing the tail end, gradually disappeared, in Spain as well as Portugal and even Greece and Italy. So it goes.

The question now becomes whether digitally reserved lodging, farmed out by wealthy middle classes with several houses to their name, ultimately is going to be an improvement for all involved, or a bane on our big cities. For the moment, it looks like the latter...

MemoriAl

Eamon said...

MemoriAl I usually ignore some of your remarks which I know are BS but when you decide to take sides with hotels I have to let off some steam. Tax avoidance, hiring of illegal workers to work unending hours, pampering to certain nationalities rather than everyone in general shows you the kind of distasteful people that run hotels. Have you been to any hotels to see the half metre high wall that is supposed to prevent you from falling from the balcony? What about those poor sods who aren't allowed in the pool so they have to jump from the balcony to get into it? Now hotels are trying to cash in on the Camino. Do you really believe a pilgrim staying overnight in a five star hotel is going to get an indulgence?

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