Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 5.12.17

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.

  • Yesterday's news is that the Belgian judge has postponed a decision on extradition of Sr P back to Spain until 14 December. Just 7 days before the elections in Cataluña.
  • Today's news is that - unlike the last time round - the separatists are now forecast to fail to achieve an absolute majority in the regional parliament. At least according to the central government's Sociological Research Centre (CIS). So, more fun and games.
  • Here's The Local with yet more advice on how to spend Xmas in Spain.
  • Much more money will be spent on Xmas lights throughout Spain this year than in previous years. The Local sees this as evidence of growing prosperity. Not just extravagence at the taxpayers' expense.
  • This week sees national public holidays on both Wednesday and Friday. So . . . a gigantic puente? When few folk turn into work on Thursday and take a 5 day 'weekend'. As I regularly say, the Spanish never miss an opportunity to have fun. It's what life is all about.
  • An interesting overview of the Spanish regions:-
The EU and Germany
  • This is a long and relatively hard-to-understand article on German domination of the EU. It possibly doesn't go as far as Nicholas Ridley's infamous 1990 statement that the EU was "just a German racket to take over Europe." But it does make some contentious statements. Such as:-
- In Germany’s case, Europeanism has provided the country’s elites with the perfect alibi to conceal their hegemonic project behind the ideological veil of ‘European integration’. Ironically, the European Union – allegedly created as an antidote to the vicious nationalisms of the twentieth century – has been the tool through which Germany has been able to achieve the ‘new European order’ that Nazi ideologues had theorised in the 1930s and early 1940s.
- The European Union should, indeed, be viewed a transnational capitalist project, but one that is subordinated to a clear state-centred hierarchy of power, with Germany in the dominant position. In this sense, the national elites in periphery countries that have supported Germany’s hegemonic project (and continue to do so, first and foremost through their support to European integration) can thus be likened to the comprador bourgeoisie of the old colonial system – sections of a country’s elite and middle class allied with foreign interests in exchange for a subordinated role within the dominant hierarchy of power.

The Spanish Language
  • The most common street terms for a male homosexual are - I believe - mariposa and maricón. The first means 'butterfly'. The second - my  brain suggested when I was dozing this morning - surely comes from María plus the Spanish suffix for 'large' - ón. So, 'big María'. 
  • Anglos might find this hard to believe but both of these can be terms of affection between male heteros. 
  • Galicians - it's reported - are now less embarrassed than they used to be about asking for a doggy bag at the end of a restaurant meal. Must try it.
  • Which reminds me . . . Down in lovely Ericeira in Portugal, the owner of a fish restaurant warned us that most shellfish there was imported and offered as if it were the high-reputation local stuff. In reality, this was usually sent to Lisbon and Oporto. This left me wondering how much this happens here in Galicia. Supermarkets are obliged to tell you the origin of their produce but not, I believe, the restaurants. One thing I do know is that some of ours offer defrosted squid. Possibly from Brazil or India . . . Not quite the rubber stuff you get in the UK but bad enough when you know what fresh quid tastes - and feels - like.
  • There was more drunken bawling near my watering hole yesterday. I spoke to 2 locals about it. The first said she hadn't noticed it as she was used to it. The second - when I asked what the police were doing about it - merely shrugged. Neither of them had a rifle handy.
  • As someone who feels like putting his foot through the TV screen every time one of the gooey British Xmas ads come on, I laughed heartily at this 'ad' in Private Eye:-


jan frank said...

A new map of Spain? Simple, really: Africa begins at the Pyrenees.

Colin Davies said...

Now,now . .

Sierra said...

Xmas lights - the usual law of unintended consequences - LED bulbs use less electricity - so have more of them - with worldwide effect noted here:


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