Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 30.11.16

SPANISH LIFE/CULTURE

Lovely Local Lists:

  1. Spain's Modern Architectural Wonders: Sometimes, of course, you wonder who could have permitted the thing's construction. I note they don't include the unfinished white elephant in Santiago de Compostela, the Ciudade da Cultura. Which has already begun to fall apart.
  2. Spain's Nicest Streets. I have to admit I've been down 5 of the 6 without clocking how exceptional they were.
Education: Well, the government's proposed alternative for the Selectividad university entrance exam - the Reválida  - has finally bitten the dust. Teachers will be pleased. Here's El País on this, in Spanish.

Home Entertaining: Except within the family, the Spanish tend not to go in for this. Perhaps this is why it's so difficult to tie them down in advance of the date. I've been trying to arrange a lunch for next Saturday. Here's how it's gone so far:-
Last week: Couple A&B - the base invitees - confirm they'll be coming.
Saturday: A asks if their friends C, D and E can come as well. I say the more the merrier.
Sunday: I invite F&G and their teenage son. G says she will confirm Monday.
Monday: A advises me that C and D are now not coming. I invite F and her 2 young kids. She says it sounds great but she will confirm on Friday. G doesn't confirm attendance.
Tuesday: A advises me that E certainly will be coming. And possibly his wife. G again doesn't confirm attendance.
Wednesday: There's now only 3.5 days left and the only thing I'm sure of is that A&B will come. 
Fearing the worst, I'm tempted to ask H&I and their teenage daughter. But if all 13 guests turn up, I won't have anything like enough chairs, even if I put the 4 kids on another table. Spanish restaurants are, of course, inured to this sort of thing even in respect of confirmed reservations. Though I read recently that they're – understandably – not thrilled by Spanish 'spontaneity'. Or, putting it another way, a refusal to commit.

Customer Service from Móvistar(Telefónica): I went on line yesterday to report that I couldn't make calls on my land line. There was, inevitably, a problem in completing the form but this was quickly resolved. I then got a call from a machine on said land line which made no sense at all. It thanked me for my contact and asked if I was ready to talk about a visit. After I'd punched the right number, there was nothing but silence. After I'd hung up, I had the same experience on my mobile phone. Three times. After which I declined to answer the repeat calls. I went through the process again this morning. Same result. But without the follow-up mobile calls. As I've asked, does this happen to others? Móvistar is, of course, a communications company . . . 

Shopping 2: Better news . . . Yesterday morning I went in pursuit of 5 things and managed to get them all. This was unprecedented in 16 years. And the best news was that I did get the replacement toothpick at one of the city's fabulous hardware stores. Where they'll give you a single washer, if that's all you want. Actually, as said toothpicks cost a mere 25c and as I'm bound to lose at least one more, I bought their entire stock of 3. To cap it all, during my expedition, I bumped into 2 beautiful young women I know, and then a male friend with whom I had a coffee. All in all, a great morning.

THE EU

Those Italian Banks: Ambrose Evens-Pritchard is the latest voice to join the chorus of those warning of imminent disasters in Italy: In the end, he says, nobody is going to let large parts of the Italian banking system collapse. The problem could be solved with a capital infusion equal to roughly 2% of GDP, less than the rescues in Germany, Belgium, Holland, or the UK after the 2008 crash. The only question is how this is done. Mr Renzi would probably rather eat marble than accept an ESM take-over of Italy, even if it is only a 'Troika-lite' variant. He might instead order the Italian treasury to bail out the banks in breach of EU rules and present Brussels with a fait accompli. But Mr Renzi may not be prime minister in a week’s time.

ELSEWHERE

US Evangelists: The gift that keeps on giving. See more of the insane Pastor Jim Bakker and his equally deranged friends here.

GALICIAN STUFF

15 Things to Know about Galicia: Here's a list of these from someone who runs a walking tours company here. I was pleased to note the almost-rejection of the Celtic myth.

LOCAL STUFF

Binge Drinking: At least 5 Galician kids a month are said to present themselves in the hospital Urxencia units with alcoholic poisoning. And the police are reported to be cracking down on the only people in Spain who don't ask you for proof of identity - the booze merchants.

THE GALLERY


FINALLY

Rumbled?: I got a delivery from Amazon last night. Via a new courier, it seems. For, when I indulged in my normal practice of giving the guy my ID with the wrong final digit, his PDA snitched on me. So, I had to come clean.

2 comments:

Sierra said...

Rumbled? - the check digit got you - the algorithm divides the number by 23, and the remainder determines the final letter - so if you altered the number, the remainder would change, and a different end letter is required - see the following:

http://www.ordenacionjuego.es/en/calculo-digito-control

Perry said...

Perfect for skateboarders.

http://www.fotopeterlugo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Cidade-da-Cultura-2.jpg

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