Sunday, June 25, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 25.6.17

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

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.

Life in Spain:-
  • Click here for a video showing a motor-bike taking a bull by the horns. It was shot by a (Latina?) woman apparently in the midst of an orgasm. Which must have been disconcerting for her partner.
  • I went back and read my own post cited yesterday - How to Drive in Spain - and I have to admit I found it very funny. I don't recall ever reading the Comments posted at various times but I particularly enjoyed those from miffed Spaniards who lack a sense of irony. Or even humour. I also appreciated the comment from the guy who said my observation that Spaniards in cars act as if they own the road they're on could be applied equally well to pedestrians. If only because I'd recently arrived as the same conclusion. If you can take it, there's a bit more on the subject at the end of this post.
  • But 2 things do have to be said about my driving piece:- I wrote it, of course, with my tongue firmly in cheek, indulging in at least a bit of exaggeration; and 2: Certain aspects have improved a lot since it was written, as evidenced by the truly dramatic fall in deaths on the roads since 2000. Using the mobile phone when driving, though, seems to have got worse.
  • I regularly talk of the gulf between Spain's macro and micro economies. This week it was reported that as many as 70% of Spanish households haven't noticed any improvement in their circumstances during the recent years of impressive GDP growth.
  • Julio Iglesias was recently interviewed on a Galician TV program which is called Land Rober. Why?? Anyway, their FB page can be seen here

Here's an interesting citation from The Economist on the Spanish economy and corruption:- The cause of the economic crisis is, no more no less than the ‘caciquismo’, ‘enchufismo’ and ‘amiguismo’ of the political parties”. That is to say that this oligarchic system of government that needs reform is a structural problem latent with corruption. Various estimates of the cost of this corruption have been made but Carles Ramió of Universidad Pompeu Fabra estimates it at €127,000m or 12% of GDP. The vast majority of Spaniards are fully aware of this and are victims of this situation who are heartily sick of it. Unfortunately, the ruling party Partido Popular is addicted to this caciquismo and while 33% of the voters continue to vote PP they can block any reform. How very true. So, let's hope the parties of the Left get their act together ere too long.

Don Quijones writes here of taxpayers being on the hook for a banking crisis that was caused by years of reckless and, in some cases, criminal mismanagement. No, not Spain - though it certainly could be - but Italy. Addressing the crisis in the latter, DQ avers that: When things get serious in the EU, laws get bent and loopholes get exploited. That is what is happening right now in Italy, where the banking crisis has reached tipping point. It is testament to just how desperate the situation has become. But things are now much better in Spain, of course.

OMG!, as the kids say . . . The Wizard of Oz might well have been an allegory of the USA at the time of the Populists. Knowing almost nothing about the latter, this seems totally plausible to me. Click here if confused. Or just intrigued.

Talking of populists . . . It's well known they come to power when things are really bad and someone can hold out to people a vision of hope for the future. So . . . Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Trump. And Corbyn in his own little way??? Things don't usually turn out too well, either for the populists or the people, as power has its usual corrupting effect. Accelerated if, like Trump, you arrive at power already corrupt. And drunk on it.

Which reminds me . . . 

Listening to the hapless Mrs May on TV last night, I had a profound thought about why she's called The Maybot . . . She talks as if she's writing a formal document. She doesn't use the usual verbal abbreviations. So 'is not' never becomes 'isn't' and 'has not' never 'hasn't', for example. No wonder she's seen as stiff and emotionless. Someone should tell her. The advice would be worth numberless votes.

Nutters' Corner:- Not all of these are Christian Evangelists, of course. Here's the comment of an Egyptian Muslim cleric:- Women are categorically not allowed to deny their husbands sex and, if they do, they are rebelling against Allah and the angels will curse them for it. That old '3 in a bed' problem. With angels as observers, it seems. You couldn't make it up. All that said, it has to be stressed that not all Muslim clerics agree with this take on the Koran. But since when did theists agree on the interpretation of their Holy Books?

Finally: A conundrum. This is a cartoon from one of our local papers. Can anyone - Spanish or otherwise - tell me what it's saying and why it's funny?

And now for a funny cartoon . . . .


With too  much time on my hands, I decided to look on the net for instructions on how to deal with roundabouts/circles. I quickly came up with this, this and this. They're all in Spanish but I can't guarantee they all relate to Spain. What's most interesting - against the background of Spanish readers saying it's still compulsory, except on turborotundas, to only use the outside lane - is that the police are clearly allowing drivers to use the inside lane. Though not permitting them to exit unless they've got into the outside lane prior to trying to leave the roundabout.

But the most interesting(?) video is this one from Alberta, which is in English with Spanish subtitles. It tells you at minute 1.16 and minute 2.35 how to properly use the inside lane when making exits after the first one. At minute 2.03 it tells you how not to do it. Which is exactly what I'm told Spanish learners are still being taught. And what I see them doing every day.

I rest my case.


Maria said...

Ha! I usually get your tongue-in-cheek, and I sometimes use it, too! I give up on roundabouts. I'll just stick to the right lane until Tráfico decides to make it illegal. If I ever meet the turbo roundabout in Vigo, I'll just take the first exit and try to find my way in the desired direction along side streets. Otherwise, I might end up in Ourense when all I want to do is get to Tui.

The cartoon is a spoof of establishments where the wait staff (or other staff) are constantly hovering, trying so much to anticipate your every desire, that they become the most annoying flies. I'd prefer a cheap hamburger to go rather than have the waiter in the soup!

Lenox said...

It's because all of us, to a greater or lesser extent - are 'pringaos'. Hey: it works - sort of.