Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 31.5.17

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

Life in Spain:-

  • I'm told that the stevedores here have a monopoly on labour in the ports which was started by the Falange in Franco's day. And that: Jobs are passed from fathers to sons. Nobody else may apply. Wages are about three times those paid elsewhere in Europe. They now say they're willing to take a 10% cut, but otherwise are prepared to close down the economy to protect their privileges. And I thought it was only the pharmacists and other 'professionals' who operated medieval guilds here.

The term Alfa -PVP sounds innocuous enough but its street label is Flakka and it's said to be an extremely strong narcotic. Though this article is a tad sceptical about this. Whatever, its use is growing rapidly in Spain and I've little doubt a large proportion of the imports of this new white powder is coming in via our  Galician coast. Ever versatile, our narcos

Just in case you're really interested, here's another article on the collapse of Banco Pastor/Popular. As reader Maria has pointed out, it couldn't be happening to a nicer bank . . .

This is a foto of what's claimed to be the oldest building in Pontevedra's old quarter. At least 500 years old but maybe more. And the only building with any Moorish element:-

It's called Casa das Campás, or House of the Bells and I've posted it here, not because of its intrinsic beauty, but because last week in my regular bar some tourists asked about its location. Despite its (alleged) fame, no one there could think of anything except the octopus restaurant next to it, called - inevitably - Pulpería das Campás. BTW . . . The accent on the A is important. Otherwise, it's House of the Graves. Or so Mr G tells me.

The drive from Pontevedra to Vigo on the (expensive) AP9 autovia is one of the prettiest you'll ever experience, especially as you approach the Rande Straits. Back in 1702, there was a huge naval battle in the bay beyond the straits where the Spanish bullion fleet - protected by French warships - was hiding from a combined British-Dutch fleet. Futilely, it turned out, as all the Spanish and French ships were destroyed like fish in a barrel. But the bullion was never found. Except novelistically by The Nautilus in Jules Vernes' Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. Anyway, for Spanish speakers, here's a Facebook video about the wanton destruction of the remains of the Spanish batteries which used to protect the bay. Or, rather, didn't. But even if you don't speak Spanish, the video is still worth a view as it gives an idea of the beauty of the spot.

Talking of Facebook - and Google - here's an interesting comment about the growing need to replace them with less intrusive alternatives.

Nutters' Corner:- They never disappoint:-
  • Televangelist Jim Bakker (He of the Big Bucket of Food): God will judge us harshly and punish America if we destroy Donald Trump. His election was a miracle.
  • Pastor Keith Gomez of the Northwest Bible Baptist Church in Elgin, Illinois : Without slavery, black people would still be in Africa with bones in their noses.
Finally . . . If you were expecting 2 CDs and received a package measuring 55 x 36 cm (c. 22 x 14 inches) you'd be a bit confused, no?

Until you opened it and saw 2 of these:-

And slowly realised you'd ordered 2 LPs (albums) by mistake. Which wouldn't be so bad if you still had a bloody turntable . . .

As if you haven't laughed enough, here's today's cartoon:-


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Hmmmm…. The Falange introduced a labour-monopoly of stevedores in Spanish ports… Which is why the EU now demands its termination (a little belated, hombre?)

Adolf Hitler initiated the Volkswagen. Does that make it a bad car??


Colin Davies said...

And your point is . . . ?

Colin Davies said...

And your point is . . . ?

Alfred B. Mittington said...

And my point is… that the origin of the monopoly is immaterial…!


Eamon said...

You can cancel an order from Amazon which has been ordered by mistake even if the article has been delivered. Check it out to see if the item can be returned and get a refund.

Colin Davies said...

How narrow your thinking is. On everything apparently. Perhaps you could treat us to your definition of relevant. And then 'interesting'

Colin Davies said...

Thanks Eamon. Did that but csnt be bothered. Copying to CDs.

Lenox said...

I've just got the record player fixed, working my way slowly through a lifetime's collection of records...

Perry said...


Stevedores load cargoes. It's a more skilled job than unloading, which is/was dockers' work.

Two birds with one stone.

Please peruse my contribution for Tuesday.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Perry. Have long considered buying something similar . .