Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 11.7.17

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:-
  • I've been a happy customer of the Mercadona supermarket chain for years. In my experience, it's the only one where the concept of customer service is understood. And where there's always someone to ask where things are. So I wasn't surprised to read this.
  • There are numerous gastronomic fiestas around Spain, all around the year but especially in summer. One of ours was reported on yesterday under the headline: Everyone Likes to Try the Tripe. Which I can categorically say is untrue.
  • At least twice a day I drive through a small industrial park on the road between Pontevedra and Spain's drug-smuggling capital of Vilagarcia. The process for getting a licence to enlarge it has already taken 15 years and is now slated to take more time as an appeal has been lodged against the grant of this. Probably by the gypsies who live next to it. As it happens, there are plans to (ideas about?) - allow(ing) construction on the other side of the road for some big-name international companies. I suspect I'll still be writing about the process in 20 years' time.
Spanish words tend to have more syllables than their English equivalents. But the contrast between 'tear gas' and gas de lacrimógenos is one of the largest I've seen.

Which reminds me . . . Why can't Spaniards say Froome's name properly? After all, they would if it were written Frum. A phonetic tendency and ignorance of Anglo pronunciation, I guess.

I see that the latest person - after Donald Trump and the Pope  - to climb on the virtue-signalling bandwagon of the poor child in the UK with a brain disorder is a US pastor with a criminal record. I'm compelled to ask whether there aren't bigger human tragedies to be concerned about. Hundreds, if not thousands, of refugees dying in the Mediterranean, for example. Or merely rotting in camps around Europe.

Talking of media distortion . . .  Here's a report from the British tabloid, The Sun, on our local custom of rounding up and cutting the manes and tails of 'wild' horses. Inevitably, it's rather sensationalist. On a point of detail, I very much doubt that any of the loitadores would be dumb enough to wrestle with stallions. I've been to several of these events around Galicia and all the cojones are on the men.

My apologies for typing Tumbling yesterday when I should have written Tumbing. Here's knowledgeable reader Maria on the item:  It's not 'tumbling', it's 'tumbing'. And it has nothing to do with 'tumba' or tomb. It comes from 'tumbar', to lie down. And the 'cinking' part is twofold. It's not only about the number five and all the guarantees by five they give you. It's also the way thinking is literally pronounced in Spanish. The c is pronounced like a slight th in Spanish Castilian. I suppose they want you to think you're using your head if you buy a Hyundai. I just want my head to be left alone by these lame-brain publicists. I'm with you on that, Maria. Not that there's much chance of this ever happening.

Finally . . . Having lived in 6 countries, I'm very aware of the validity of the northern English dictum that There's nowt more queer than folk. Just over a week ago, my car and house keys fell through a hole in my pocket but are yet to turn up at the nearby police station. And now probably never will. It's beyond me that someone would find things of such importance and not take them to the police, but there we are. Even more astonishing is the large number of key sets on the police board which no one had come in search of. One of these had a more than 10 keys on it.

Anyway . . . Outside the police station – which I've visited 4 times – I parked where this car has been clamped. As you can see from this foto, there's nothing nearby that says you can't park there.

But if you look some way to the left, there's a small sign saying that only people authorised by the police can park there. With no indication of how far this restriction applies. It certainly doesn't after the red car. 

As you can see, there's a zebra crossing between the slot below the sign and the one where this car was clamped. As I say, I missed the sign 4 times, having parked either where this one is or in the slot behind it. So, easy meat. Probably unintentional on the part of the police, though . . . . 

Today's cartoon

Back to the Roman arena . . . 

I must admit I do love the children's matinees.


Traction Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Traction Man said...

Hi Colin,

Can't find you on my Facebook friends any more. Hope all is well.

Best wishes,

Mark Sparrow

Colin Davies said...

Hi, Mark. good to hear from you. Send a friend request to Dross Bin. Who is really me . . . Cheers. C.

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