Friday, January 12, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia: 12.1.18

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.

  • A truly impressive Spanish achievement.
  • Using 100 as the national base, here's how the richest and poorest parts of the country compare:
- The Balearics – 138
- Madrid – 137
- The Basque Country – 134
- Navarra – 126

- Galicia – 90
- Andalucia – 74 (assuming one can believe any figures coming from this region)
- Extramadura - 69
  • Sex in Spain1: Brothels are hardly an obscure business activity in Spain. Outside some cities it's hard not to trip over them. Especially if – as a Camino pilgrim, of course – one visits a roadside cafe favoured by truck drivers. Here's an article on the probably the biggest in the country, targeted mainly at Frogs.
  • Sex in Spain 2: A nice cartoon:-

  • One wonders what percentage of the world's population believes Fart's reason for not making his visit to the UK. It goes without saying, of course, that he doesn't believe it himself.
The UK
  • In my Laws faculty a few decades ago, only around 2% of students got a first class degree, though in my year it was 4%. Last year in the UK, it was a truly astonishing 25% plus, having risen from just 8% in 1995. Hard to argue with the view that this creep has devalued the elite grade.
  • My thanks to reader Sierra for el cruising and el dogging. Reading about these in a local paper I realised I'd driven many times past a popular parking area on the AP9 autopista between Pontevedra and Vigo.
Nutters Corner
  • Being a US evangelist means you never have to say sorry, it's claimed here. Fart's religion of choice, of course.
Social Media
  • Click here for a worrying article on The Rapid Rise of a Digital Corporate Dystopia. The opening sentence:- As digital firms move to displace more government roles over time, from room-letting to transportation to commerce, citizens will be increasingly subject to corporate, rather than democratic, control.
  • The wife of the man accused of murdering at least one young woman and now suspected of others will not be charged for giving him false alibis on at least 2 occasions. Reportedly, she phones him every day and has said she'll stick by him come what may. Nowt as queer as folk, as they say. I guess she thinks she's in love with him. Always a slippery concept.
  • The Voz de Galicia claims that Camino pilgrims spent €280m last year, including their flights. This is based on an estimate of €1,000 for each of the 280,000 walkers. I wonder if this takes into account the many who start in the Pyrenees but give up long before they get anywhere near Santiago.
  • Yesterday I confirmed my claim that there were 3 pharmacies visible from a spot in the centre of the city. And then I got to wondering about how many I could visit within, say, a 10 minute walk. Google maps confirms my experience that I could do 6 in less than this time:-

As competition is restricted by the pharmacists' cartel, this suggests Pontevedrans are good at buying medications and the like. Possibly because the doctors indulge in poly-pharmacy. Several products per prescription. Because this is what patients expect/demand.

  • I've put aside €100 for my next motoring fine. Why? Because it's a racing certainty. In 20 years of driving in 12 countries before I came to Spain, I was fined only once – for parking on a plot of land in Manchester I thought was a genuine parking area. Here in Spain – in 17 years of trying to comply with the rules – I've been fined 10 times. Possible explanations for this:-
- I've become a terrible driver since I came to Spain.
I love breaking the law
The Spanish police are very much more efficient in catching drivers for the numerous offences that can be committed here,
Spanish law enforcers have a raft of tricks with which to ensnare would-be-law-abiding drivers.
The Spanish Guardia Civil and its various police national, regional and municipal forces are really more a department of the Tax Office (the Hacienda) than an arm of the law. Or
All of these.

I know what I think . . .  

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