- The Presidenta of Andalucia looks set to be the next leader of the left-wing PSOE part – until recently the main Opposition party here. As Andalucia is infamous – far and wide – for corruption, I imagine that under her aegis the party will be even less interested than it has been in forcing the PP government to set up a parliamentary commission to inquire in Spain's institutionalised corruption.
- President Rajoy has insisted there' be no snap election, designed to increase the PP's slim majority. One commentator has remarked that, if he really believes this, he must be the only person in the country who does.
Spanish Life: I had 2 of 'those conversations' yesterday:
At the library (where, incidentally, the staff do little more than make more noise than the customers)
I'm returning this book
OK but it's late and now you're blocked until 3 April from taking out any other book
It's because they didn't give me a slip with the date on it.
You have to take one from the box on top of the counter
They used to give out slips
Well, we don't any more
In an IT shop (having noticed the Apple logo everywhere):-
I see you sell Apple products. Are you an official outlet?
Now, we're not an official distributor. There's no Apple shop locally.
There's one in Vigo.
But you can repair Apple products, yes?
Yes, we do everything they do, at the same prices.
I would have thought you'd be cheaper.
Actually, I had a 3rd but I can't now recall where . . .
Spanish Language Corner: A neologism: Robolución. I guess this would be 'Robolution' in English. I thought it had something to do with rapid progress in the ousting of humans by robots but the Urban Dictionary defines it as 1. A revolution in the mind, often the result of inspired poetry. And 2. A new hairstyle being spread in Richmond, VA among "hip artists". Hmm.
Yesterday's Voz de Galicia headlined the astonishing news that the region's retirees aged between 55 and 65 now earn double what older retirees get. And 50% more than people in work. I find it hard to see how this has come about but it can't bode well for the future.
In a comment to yesterday's post reader Sierra cites a news item of the profiteering of the Trump family. I was going to say 'presidential family' but the adjective sounds rather inappropriate, given that 'huckster' is a word that surely should be added to my recent table of comments re the man. By the way, there's an even bigger and nastier nationalist on the world stage at the moment – Turkey's President Erdogan. A man who wants to take his country even further backwards than Mr T wants to take his.
Following up my point about the difference between (bad) nationalism and (good) patriotism . . .
Speaking as someone who feels both British, European and a bit Spanish, I ask: Is there anyone who feels patriotic about the EU? Apart from the imbecilic Juncker, of course. Who last year said that national borders were the worst ever creation of politicians. If I were a theist, I'd have to say he must be one of God's worst creations.
Finally . . . Looking for a local typing service, I yesterday happened upon this nameplate:-
Research identified Anatheoresis as a therapy which was created by Joaquín Grau. And means “To look backwards watching the past in order to unbury it and bring it to the present to be understood and cleared up". Grau appears to be a Spaniard, based in Barcelona, who has a 'qualification' from Bircham Universtity – also based in Barcelona. This institution features, not surprisingly, on a list of 'diploma mills' and provides you with degrees for pretending to read course books. And paying a fee. Others on this list include these well-known UK universities:-
The U of Doncaster
The U of England, Oxford
The U of Palmers Green
The U of Wyoming, London
The U of Devonshire
The U of Buxton
The U of Canterbury
The U of Chelsea
The U of Summerset(sic)
As of today, they are to be joined by The U of Poio. Apply for the course of your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org
Today's cartoon, dedicated to Latina women, particularly Colombians:-
|I spotted you as soon as you walked in. I never forget a facelift. (Un lifting, in Spanish, by the way)|
Eating percebes again Pablo Armas. The 'Voz de Galicia'-
The taxpayer, faced by some economic analyses, and the consumer, faced by some percebes, wonders how they are to be eaten. The economy is going well, but most citizens do not notice this in their day to day lives. Those who ate percebes before the crisis continue to eat them now, because they can afford them and know how to eat them. Those who could not eat percebes then cannot eat them now, because they cannot afford them and, in the opinion of the former, they do not know how to eat them. The new rich, who are fed up with eating percebes, cannot eat them now, because they have gone from middle-high class to middle-lower class and have forgotten how percebes are eaten. It's a question of macroeconomics and microeconomics
The macroeconomy is going well. Employment, GDP, CPI, public spending, domestic demand, household savings, car sales, house prices, number of tourists and exports all grow. But also growing are job insecurity, temporary employment, youth unemployment, the lack of protection of the long-term unemployed, the bill for electricity and gas, the excluded population, the population at risk of poverty, the wage gap, the generational gap and the gender gap. However, social security affiliations, pension funds and expectations of meeting the deficit targets set by Brussels to the autonomous communities are down. How do you eat the fact that that the budgetary adjustments have not cleaned up the public accounts? How do you eat the fact that annual interest on the debt exceeds the budgets for health, education and the strategy for active employment put together? How do you eat the fact that the fall in wages has not improved competitiveness? How do you eat the fact that financial bailout has provided liquidity for the banks but not for families or small businesses? How do you eat the fact that a higher business profit margin has not translated into a greater investment in capital goods? How do you eat the fact that the labour reform has swallowed collective bargaining?
The microeconomy of the percebe is not doing so well. The production is natural, but harvesting is risky, especially of the 'sun percebes', those of thick and short peduncle, clinging to rocks more exposed to strong waves in the cliffs of Ortegal or Roncudo. To the value for money ratio must be added the quality-risk ratio. The cooking doesn't increase costs, since it only needs a brief boiling with salty water, better if it's seawater, to obtain the characteristic intense flavour. In the case of the percebes, as in that of the economy, warm cloths are useful, but only to keep them warm. Once they are uncovered, there's the frustration of the average diner, who has forgotten how to eat them.
You have to re-teach him how to eat percebes. He has to learn to separate the carapace from the peduncle, without the treacherous squirt blinding his eyes or splattering his branded suit bought a few years ago. He has to learn to hold the carapace of the percebe with one hand and to practice a small incision with the thumbnail of the other hand just below the carpace of the percebe to tear the skin. He has to learn to turn both hands in opposite directions, energetically, in order to twist, strangle and decapitate the percebe. After this dramatic settling of accounts, he has to learn to detach the peduncle from the skin and taste it as if it were the last percebe of his life. In the face of doubt between throwing away the carapace of the percebe or sucking it with delight, he has to learn not to squander it and not to live beyond his possibilities. The percebes are to be eaten, but you must know how to eat them. Meanwhile, we must see what happens with the budgets, because as we know: "The percebe and the salmon, in May are in season."
No, I don't know WTF he's going on about either. Doubtless Alfie Mittington can enlighten us.