Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 8.11.16

SPANISH LIFE/CULTURE

Catalan Caggers: One of the most unusual 'Spanish' customs is that of the model crappers who populate Xmas cribs - los belenes - in Cataluña, if not the whole of Spain. Here are this year's novelties, including the obvious two. Belén, by the way, is also Bethlehem in Spanish.

Spanish Nationality: Rumour has it this is getting harder to acquire, especially for those from South America. Certainly, I know that an Argentinean friend has taken years to get hers. And will now have to queue from 4am next week to complete the process. Outside an office that opens at 7. And this is in nearby Marín, as it's said to be an even greater calvario here in Pontevedra.

Personal Assets: If I've got this correct, the Forbes list of the 100 richest people in Spain has 27 people in Barcelona and 23 in Madrid, against only 8 in Galicia. But the Galician total of €84m is more than double both of these respective totals. This is because the founder of the Inditex company (Zara et al) lives in La Coruña and possesses 81% of the Galician patrimonio and 31% of the Spanish wealth.

THE USA

Multi-Level Marketing: An old friend of mine was the President of Herbalife Europe before he (comfortably) retired. I often wondered about how this (very successful) company went about its business but now I know. See here for an hilarious take on MLM companies in the USA from John Oliver, a Brit comedian who I think is relatively unknown in the UK but who's carved out a great career for himself across the pond. Both his folks are from Merseyside, of course.

GALICIAN STUFF

The AVE High Speed Train: There's much concern here that the absence of a minister of Galician origin - the Gallego President is discounted - will negatively impact on the chances of having the line to Madrid completed by the end of 2018. Any excuse. It was never going to happen anyway. It remains a piece of string.

The Traffic Police: These (El Tráfico) are part of the (quasi-military) Guardia Civil and not really mere police officers at all. Anyway, the 84 year old Gallega who drove for more than 50 years without a licence has now admitted she was stopped several times over many years of driving to and from Córdoba but always got away with saying she'd left her documents at home. Hard to imagine now that El Tráfico is a department of the Hacienda, the Tax Office.

LOCAL STUFF

Job Vacancies: At a time of high unemployment, I find it hard to understand why more than 10% of positions with the local police are unfilled. I know these folk tend to be regarded as village idiots who can't get a job with the provincial, regional or national police forces - let alone the Guardia Civil -  but nonetheless . . . Whatever the reason(s), this situation will get worse when the officers are allowed to retire early at 60, as of very soon. 

FINALLY

Bartolini: This is the company which Amazon Spain says will be delivering a package this week. But there's no tracking number and a search has failed to turn up any info on the company in Spain, let alone Pontevedra. Nothing on the Amazon list of Spanish distribution companies either. So, I'm waiting for replies to emails sent to Bartolini in Italy and the manufacturer of the dash camera which I'm planning to use to give you examples of the nonsense I have to deal with on a daily basis . . .

THE GALLERY

Today in the USA, from the Daily Telegraph:



Thank god it's almost over.

THE CORRUPTION CAVALCADE

The case
  The Accused
   Positions
 Allegations and Status

The Murcia AVE
4 construction companies
Household names:
Acciona Infraestructuras S.A., 
Dragados S.A., Sacyr S.A. 
Constructora San José S.A
Under investigation for siphoning off a mere €17.6m from the track company Adif, via phony invoices for work never carried out.


2 comments:

Sierra said...

John Oliver's parents made the sensible decision to move to Erdington, Birmingham for his birth

Colin Davies said...

It was in his genes by then . . .

No one sensible moves to the armpiticus britannicus.

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