Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 17.8.17

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.

My usual Thursday morning thanks to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for some inspiration.

Life in Spain:-
  • Spain's top ranking university in a recent Chinese survey - Barcelona's Universidad Pompeu Fabra - came in at only position 239. Our local paper - the Voz de Galicia - boasted (if that's the right word) that the University of Santiago was included in the 300-400 band. Not much to shout about. In contrast, Spain's business schools are very highly rated.
  • Here's our old friend, The Local, with a list of 10 things you mustn't do when dining in Spain.
  • And, if you're a guiri who speaks Spanish and plans to enjoy tapas dishes here, here's how to detect favoured tricks/faults of the trade.
  • Here's a bit more from El País, in English, on the problems Santiago de Compestela has with its ever-increasing number of tight-fisted pilgrims/tourists
  • Spain's fishing fleet ranks number 3 in Europe, after Greece and Italy. The UK comes in at number 7 but this is only one place above that of Galicia's. Most of which operates out of nearby Vigo, I believe. This puts Galicia's fleet ahead of those of Holland, Germany and Ireland, inter alia.
It's tough inventing reasons for Spain's raison d'etre - annual fiestas. Our local town of Cuntis (stop sniggering) has come up with a beauty - a straw-bale rolling competition. For which you have to don cowboy gear and wellies, it seems. Or at least wellies:-

If you're surprised at the following statistic, you haven't been paying attention to my moans in this blog . . . In absolute terms of the number of motoring fines, Pontevedra province ranks 3rd behind those of Madrid and Valencia: 179,400, 95,900 and 72,800, respectively. But I suspect our province would leap to the top of the per capita rankings. I'm proud to be included. Regularly.

Mind you, our local police claim there are at least 800 drivers on our roads who've had their licences suspended. Not all of whom will be gypsies. I guess.

I've confessed that Pontevedra's ever-changing retail scene confuses me. In a part of the city centre where I haven't shopped for a while, I noticed there was a new burger restaurant and that the Chinese bazar I'd intended to visit was now a large sporting goods store. Down in Veggie Square, one of the shops that regularly closes and re-opens as something else is now an ice-cream place. I imagine it'll shut down at the end of summer. Further up the street towards my regular watering hole, the city's millionth knick-knack shop has just opened. Perhaps for the tourist trade. I've become pretty good at predicting which shops won't survive - my latest guess being the spice shop in the street down towards the market. Which will be a shame as it's useful for me and is staffed by a nice young lady who wants to practice her English.

Galicia's brilliant artist, Alfonso Castelao, was not exactly an admirer of Spain's ruling classes of the start of the 20th century. He once said, I think, that there was no such thing as a thin priest. Certainly, all of the latter in his wonderful pictures seem to be on the fat side. As here, for example:-

I was reminded of this when I was this foto of the king and queen - the very opposite of fat - with leaders of the Spanish Protestant community:-

Finally . . .  My understanding that un huerto is an orchard and una huerta is a vegetable patch or allotment. Right or wrong, I need a Spanish reader to tell me whether it's really possible I saw the latter as a masculine forename in a novel set in the 1930s and beyond.

Today's cartoon:-

Of course, it'll be more effective once we get some ants.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Did you notice that Wednesday turned into Thursday and the 16th of August into the 17th?? Or did you simply dance the night away and miss the sunrise?


Colin Davies said...

Did you not notice I make these mistakes to give you something to do . . . .

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Yeah... Sure... You did it on purpose...


Eamon said...

I got my electricity bill from Fenosa today and I see it now includes PVPC (el Precio Voluntario para el Pequeño Consumidor). Just another one of those sneaky things that pop up every now and then.

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