Monday, July 17, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 17.7.17

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:-

  • From time to time I repeat the description of Spain - from a Spanish reader - as a "low ethics society". I'm reminded of this now by this report on the sale of duff horse meat across Europe. I'm sure there must be countries where ethics are lower - Albania, say - but this is a bad enough example of how low some people can sink. And it's interesting to note that the capo of this scam is Dutch.
  • If I knew, I had forgotten that Spain has not just two but seven not-colonies-but-enclaves on the North African coast, all claimed by Morocco. See here for details. Gibraltar, like Spain itself, is 'different'.
  • The Spanish regularly strike me as creatures of habit, though this is quite possibly true of other societies as well. For example, Pontevedra's bars are relatively empty midday on weekdays, whereas on Sunday's they're crowded. Once upon a time, this would have been because they were a nice stop-off point between Mass and the big Sunday family lunch but the former factor has virtually disappeared. The latter, though, hasn't. So, instead of going to the beach, they come into town for tapas and a pre-prandial copa. By 2 or 2.30, though, the bars are empty. And quiet.
  • Another area of habit is beach-going, which the Spanish seem to do all at the same time. As with beach-leaving. As I've said more than once, if you want to drive on jam-free roads and enjoy an empty-ish beach, go there between 2pm and 6pm, when the locals go home for their big meal of the day. No sandwiches for most of them.
  • It's a common-place observation that there are some scandalously low salaries paid in Spain's hospitality/tourism sector. Here's a report on one example and the fight against it. 
Scams are not, of course, confined to Spain. Here's the intro to a report on a UK case: Europcar, one of the world's biggest car hire companies, is accused of systematically overbilling well over half a million customers for repairs over many years, in what could become one of the biggest consumer overcharging scandals in recent UK history. 

I've started to use (my daughter's) Netflix to watch a highly recommended comedy - Modern Family. Seeing the company name on the screen, an irony jumped out at me. In the UK we used to call movies 'films' or 'flicks'. As kids, we would, on Saturday mornings, go to 'the flicks'. So, it's ironic - now that the US term 'movies' is universally used - that an American company takes us back to the word 'flicks/flix". Hey ho.

Here in Galicia, I've cited plans to put new bollards on our autovias to stop kamikaze drivers entering them in the wrong direction. Reader Sierra has pointed out these have been in place on our A6 for some time. This search suggests they haven't been too successful so far.

And here - from an Irish newspaper - is another report on our Galician wines - or, rather, on just one of them, AlbariƱo. Inevitably, there are some daft comments among the accurate ones. And, needless to say, there is some of the guff that wine experts go in for - The wines typically have the classic flavours of peach and apricot with excellent acidity, with a touch of wet slate coming through and a splash of salt on the finish. I've never tasted slate myself - dry or wet - so can't say whether this is accurate or not. But, anyway, these days I favour the alternative Godello grape. Or, rather, I did until I was told this weekend that it's now the fashionable tipple down in Madrid . . . 

Finally . . . These are alleged to be the world's sexiest accents for English speakers. In women, of course. I have to confess to surprise that number one is Israeli. Not sure I would recognise it.

Today's cartoon:-



Perry said...


You haven't had "a touch of wet slate coming through"? Guess you are not a chap for a night on the tiles?

From half a globe away. Tim Blair, The Daily Telegraph July 17, 2017

For no good reason, we seem to be enduring some kind of eco-fundamentalist religious revival. Previously, these things were driven by terrible catastrophes of one kind or another. Hurricane Katrina was one such disaster, in 2005, shortly followed by the election of Kevin Rudd in 2007. Remember when climate change was “the great moral challenge of our generation”? Good times, people.

Rational types calmed down a little once they realised Katrina was a unique weather, political and lake containment episode and Rudd was Labor’s great generational challenge. In the decade since, we’ve seen none of the predicted climate horror tipping points eventuate. Yet here we are, suffering eco-mania breakouts all over the place.

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose nation currently faces rather more pressing concerns than what the temperature might be in Paris a century or so from now, recently told the G20 summit: “It is not possible to fight against international terrorism if you do not act decisively against climate change.”

The source of terrorism, according to Macron, is inequality. This is somehow made worse by climate change. “Everything is connected,” President Macron, whose name sounds like a "metric unit of measurement for dumb evasion", explained.

Does Macron believe the Charlie Hebdo slaughter might have been averted if France had outlawed internal combustion engines? Might Mohamed Salmene Lahouaiej-Bouhlel have reconsidered driving his truck into crowds in Nice last year if those ­citizens were into ­recycling?

Would 130 people not have been murdered in Paris and Saint-Denis two years ago if their nine attackers were convinced ­of the French government’s carbon offset commitments?

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Five years after I recommended 'Modern Family' to you, you finally get around to watching it?

And recognizing its genius…??

Will you never learn to listen to good advice, you Liverputian????


Colin Davies said...

I didnt have netflix then