Sunday, July 16, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 16.7.17

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:-
  • Regional government: The Galician Xunta employs 87,000 civil servants. Which, as it happens, is the population of Pontevedra city. And, now that El Crisis is officially over, there plans to recruit a lot more.
  • Despite the said end of El Crisis, Spain still has more than 400,000 empty properties on her metaphorical books, of which around 23,000 are here in Galicia. So, it's a tad surprising that construction is picking up again quite nicely. I guess the unsold ones are in the wrong place. And quite possibly poorly built. Like the 17 behind my house.
  • Now that summer is here, say the police, we must be on our guard against professional pickpockets. I'm not quite sure why the season make a difference. Unless it's because there are more folk on the street. Wearing fewer clothes and making it easier to be dipped.
  • Someone has suggested that, if they aren't going to blow up the appalling mausoleum dedicated, in effect, to Franco in the Valley of the Fallen, then perhaps they should put the body of ex PM ManuelAzaƱa there. Not a bad idea. 
Talking of dictators . . .  Brussels, it seems, would like us all to do without cash. Completely. One wonders in whose interests. Here's Don Quijones on the subject. Personally, I've experienced the antipathy to the use of credit cards in both Holland and Germany. Against that, in Haarlem last year I was told I could only pay for a cup of coffee[sic] with a card provided by the local council. To get the coffee I had to tell the young woman to take the money and keep it for herself, as a tip.

A nice - and very accurate - comment this morning from a Sunday Times columnist: Dissing [disrespecting] the NHS is one of the things you can’t do as a politician. You could sneakily slip your hand up the Queen’s skirt and get a better press. It’s about the only thing left in Britain we’re allowed — indeed, obliged — to be breast-beatingly proud of, despite the fact that it is, by European standards, decidedly mediocre. 

Nutters Corner: This is a woman who believes that an omniscient god decided to speak to her in a language she didn't understand. But doesn't have enough intelligence to ask why on earth (or in heaven) He/She would do this. You couldn't make it up. The Jim Bakker show, by the way, exists to sell you buckets of food you'll need when the End Times arrive. Evolution isn't always successful.

Last night I was invited to attend a new event for me in the Pontevedra bull-ring. Something that bull-breeders put on to test the quality of their 1-2 year old animals, both male and female. This centred on the latter and was designed to see which would be best to breed fighting bulls from. It didn't result in any deaths and the final stage of the evening was the hilarious sight of male youths trying to have a go at being a torero. And being regularly tossed in the process, much to the enjoyment of the (rather small) crowd. On a point of detail, the testing of male calves(erales) is called a prueba de acoso y derribo and that of the females(eralas) is a prueba de bravura. Or so it says here.

Having a bite to eat with friends after the event in a new place in Pontevedra, I was yet again forced to ask why people who invest a fortune in new premises turn to Google for the translation of their menus. Penny-pinching or just downright stupid? Here's a couple of last night's gems: Bee Tail and Seared Old Cow. Enticing.

Finally . . . As I was walking to my car at 1am this morning, I was hailed by a (well-dressed) woman who loudly asked me: Can you spare some change so I can stay in a hostel? But I ignored her. Specifically, I refrained from asking her where the dog she had on a lead would be staying. And from asking here whether the hostel was situated in O Vao, where the gypsies do their drug-dealing.

Today's cartoon:-


Alfred B. Mittington said...

I do hope you are aware that mama cows who dare to breed a bull who actually is a match for a torero, get killed, hung and quartered when their son manages to do to the man what the man is supposed to do to the bull? As happened a few weeks ago when a bull finally got the better of one of your beloved matadors?

Such sophisticated people, these 'aficionados', aren't they??


Colin Davies said...

Can you show me any evidence of the attitude you attribute to me??

Maria said...

It does seem like an awful lot of civil servants living off the fat of the land. The problem is, they're centered in the offices where they do the most harm. The civil servants with whose jobs the all-wise penny-pinching government decided to cut costs were the teachers, doctors, and police of which I wish there were more of. Perhaps the call to hire involves these jewels. The office hogs could easily be put out to pasture - we wouldn't miss them.

Geoff said...

I often wonder why enterprising bi-lingual folks don't offer to translate menus in exchange for free meals :-)

Colin Davies said...

Because I do it for nowt!

Colin Davies said...

@Maria: Could there really be more police? Pontevedra at least seems awash with them, from 3 or 4 dfferent forces. . . .

Maria said...

Colin, perhaps they're badly distributed? In my town the locals don't have a night shift because they don't have enough officers. In the summer there are auxiliary cops, but I think only during the day. At night there are two Guardia Civiles and if backup is needed, it has to come from the next town.