Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 30.11.17

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.

  • The number of companies who've moved their HQ out of the region - on paper at least – has now risen to more than 2,700. 
  • The current drought is now said to be the worst in on record. Here in 'perpetually wet' Galicia, the president has warned of restrictions in 90 days time, if things don't improve. Meanwhile, the media continue to give us suggestions on how we might save water. Some of which should surely be permanent. Like not running the tap when you're cleaning your teeth.
  • I suspect we might have seen these suggestions on how to enjoy the winter in Spain about 12 months ago.
The Spanish Language
  • I've noted in the past that we have more than 12 local daily newspapers. You might wonder what they get to fill them. Well, there's all the syndicated stuff, for a start. And the institutional advertising. And then there's the endless comparisons with other regions or cities. For example, from the last couple of days:-
- Galicia is only the 10th of the 17 regions when it comes to investment in R&D. At a low 0.9% of GDP.
- Galicia has the lowest gap between the highest and lowest salaries of civil servants.
- Galicia comes second bottom – after Extramadura – when it comes to 'cultural spend' per capita
- Pontevedra is the 4th highest province at fining those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
To be honest, it all gets rather boring. Irritating even.
  • Perhaps more interesting is the news that the number of (registered) Brits in Galicia has soared from only 37 in 2012 to 89 now, an increase of 141%. The explanation is probably the implementation of increased teaching of English, via young Assistants. Who then all offer private English lessons, which helps to keep the price to what it was 15 years ago - €15 an hour. Worth possibly only half as much now.
  • The first day of the new laser radar traps resulted in 4 bookings. All were said to be going at more than double the limit of 30kph. Which looks like a fair cop.
  • The fine for using your phone at the wheel is to increase significantly, reflecting its implication in the 'driver distractions' which cause more than a third of accidents. You'll also lose more points from your licence. Nothing has been said about having a (non-distracting) unconnected auricular in your ear. I assume this remains a heavily penalised offence.
Today's Cartoon

Look, I'm sick to death of hearing what you would have said to Oscar Wilde if you'd thought of it on time!

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