Friday, April 21, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 21.4.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.

First the good news . . . .

  1. Here's how to emulate the Spanish so that you can reach 100.
  2. Here's how the Spanish energy companies are being dragged into the 21st century. (And then boasting of it with full-page ads in the local media).
And here's the bad news: The latest example of brazen corruption on a huge scale by a leading Spanish politician. As El País puts it: A recovering economy, a weak opposition and an unstable international scenario should all have provided a good opportunity for President Rajoy to present himself as a solid political reference point. Instead, a resurgence of corruption cases is ruining that opportunity. But no doubt things will improve for him after he's testified in the trial I mentioned yesterday . . . 

I'm doing a camino down in Portugal next week. Yesterday, one of the hotels I'm using sent me this helpful message: Good morning. Tankful for the reserve. Will do all that i an. Do you need anythin else? Dinner? Breakfast?Transport? Tank you. Still on the subject of bad English, I had occasion last night to visit the web page of a new "British School" in Vigo. Here's the heading from one of its sections:- Parent's School is in session. One hopes that the place is doing rather better than when this was first written. Or that they have sacked the teacher of English.

Nutter' Corner: There's a prize for the first reader to translate this paragraph into English. It's from the website of a US Catholic TV network and it relates, I think, to the danger to Catholics posed by the practice of yoga: Many Christians who are former practitioners of yoga argue that it is not possible to separate yoga from its religious origins, that the dangers of the occult remain, especially by efforts to manipulate internal forces in order to achieve a particular physical state. That, while natural causation is claimed, in fact achieving the result depends on the existence of the very forces which the non-Christian philosophy teaches. Separating the philosophy from the posture makes possible the posture’s Christian use, but removes any value of it over any other physical posture. On the other hand, retaining the posture and seeking its purpose necessarily adopts a non-Christian worldview, opening the individual to spiritual forces, as opposed to simply material ones, who are opposed to their salvation.

Talking about religion . . . If you're a theist and wonder how we atheists can manage to enjoy life without a 'sense of purpose', this video clip is for you.

Local News:-

  1. Reader Maria, I think, recently wrote about the history of olives here in Galicia. And I recalled that Vigo is known as the City of Olives. If you want to know why, there's a brief account at the end of this post. Well, two actually.
  2. I've been known to accuse Galicians of putting paprika (pimentón) in just about everything. Well, yesterday, my visitor Jack provided me with this evidence of a chocolate bar containing the stuff.

Finally . . . . 
  • Very Local News 1: Since I came here more than 16 years ago, I've regularly had to struggle to get up to my house past the inconsiderate parents who block the road by double and triple parking so their precious kids don't have to walk more than 20 metres. But, blow me, a local cop appeared on the scene this week and the parked cars stretched up and down the hill for several hundred metres. And then I read in the local paper that, not before time, the local council had decided to do something about this twice-daily nuisance outside all local schools. Well, the private ones anyway. All strength to their ordinances.
  • Very Local News 2: It seems that Renfe's web page has difficulty only with Pontevedra as the station of origin. If I mis-type the name and enter Pom, it automatically gives me Pombal and allows me to then enter Santiago as the destination. Weird.
Today's cartoon, on a topical issue:-

First t


Eamon said...

Wow! When you said there was a brief account about Vigo I didn't think it was going to be that brief.

Eamon said...

Regarding Renfe on line. If I book a ticket from Santiago to A Coruña it only allows me to get to Pontevedra. When I book a ticket from Pontevedra to A Coruña it tells me I can buy a ticket from Pontevedra to Pontevedra. Yep something weird going on there.

Maria said...

I saw a sign in a small grocery store in Porto last Wednesday: "We sale tabaco and water." Which seems quite at odds with the polyglots one can encounter in that city.

Sierra said...

You, and your readers, may be interested in the following "draft of the Commission’s detailed negotiating directives" - particularly the first objective related to "Citizens' Rights", which obviously affect UK & Spanish expats.

It's via this website:

Click on the blue writing in the second paragraph for the pdf file

Perry said...

I'll give your Nutter's corner a go.

Many Xtians who used to practice yoga, assert that the various postures can result in heightened self-awareness, with feelings of calmness & relaxation. The feelings of spirituality these postures engender, are at odds with Xtian dogmatics, which require Roman Catholics to get down on their knees & painfully banish all pleasant thoughts & re-engage with their guilt. In other words, stop playing with yourself, you naughty boy.

Anathema, was the stern reply.

Colin Davies said...

You win the prize, Perry.