Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 28.5.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.

- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain

Life in Spain:
  • In Spain, as in other countries, you have to pass theory and practical tests before you can drive alone on the roads. Though not in all cases. There are little cars here based on a motorbike engine, called sincarnets ('without licence¡) and I believe it's still the case that any idiot - of any age? - can climb into one of these and create havoc - and danger - on the country's highways. As I saw yesterday coming back from the city. But it makes a change from all the learner drivers in the wrong lane on a roundabout. I can, at least, anticipate their errors.
  • It's a feature of Spain - and probably elsewhere - that women walk around with inappropriate English slogans on their T-shirts. I do sometimes risk telling them what they're displaying. But not the 12 year old yesterday who had Babe in Trouble on her front.
  • Back to female names . . .  I've clocked Sehila and the obvious question arises: Is this a new name or a mis-spelling of Sheila?
  • Rubbernecking is very much a Spanish pastime. During a football match in a bar last week, I think I was the only person not to turn and look at the door when a police car went past with its siren on. Inexplicable but very common on the country's highways, should there be the slightest reason for it.
If you really want to know all the corruption cases currently being processed here, go to this site and enjoy the Rogues' Gallery there. And the details it gives of the cases. The claim is made that politicians have stolen more than €83m from Spanish taxpayers but this is only what's known about - the tip of the fetid iceberg that floats below the surface of Spanish society. HT to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for this information. And for the news that the impartiality of the senior anti-corruption investigator is being questioned. President Rajoy says he has full trust in him. And I'm sure he does.

En passant, here's the latest ex regional president to be arraigned. I think he's resigned sine this Wiki entry was last edited.

The belief that the AVE high-speed train will finally operate here in Galicia in 2020 rests on the assumption that a 17km stretch of existing track near and through Ourense will be used instead of dedicated AVE tracks. But this means the train has to fit on different gauge tracks and this - rather than the non-availability of 17km of new tracks (10 years off?) - will be the real delaying factor. The Voz de Galicia yesterday reported a dispute between the regional and national governments about what calibre of train we'll (eventually) have. So, I think we can kiss 2020 goodbye. Assuming anybody believed in it in the first place.

I'm wont to say there ain't a huge amount of 'culture' in Pontevedra, especially since the corrupt savings banks (cajas) ran down their social events programs. But yesterday there were 2 lovely activities in the city. Firstly, a large tent dedicated to chess tables for anyone who wanted to play, and secondly - something new, I think - a 'rapid painting' competition. I was really impressed by (most of) the entries in process. Of which this is one:-

Finally . . . I recently quoted Morton's comment that Spaniards are utterly callous about making a noise at night. I thought of this at 10.30 last night when my neighbours' teenage sons set about firing up a BBQ, accompanied by booming music. I thought of it again when the noise woke me up at 2.30. Fortunately I never go anywhere in Spain without earplugs.

Today's cartoon:-

1 comment:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

AIN'T ??????

You, anti-American language purist, use AIN'T ???????


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