Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 15.2.18

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.

  • El País covers here the 'quagmire' of corruption in which the PP governing party is sunk.
  • And here the same newspaper reports - surely not to anyone's surprise – that the current and previous PP presidents of the Madrid regional government – are now implicated in one of the numerous corruption scenarios.
  • But none of this seems to matter to President Rajoy, who insists it was all a long time ago, that none of the accused are now in his government[!], and that people should concentrate on his economic achievements. Astonishingly (for non-Spaniards), despite the fact that 85% of Spaniards (and 62% of his own PP party) feel he should stand down, Rajoy's said to be considering a 3rd term from 2020. Which would be a gift for Ciudadanos. But it surely won't happen. Will it? It might. Spain is different.
  • Yesterday it was reported that one of the many businessmen being investigated for bribery of PP politicians 'has the right to lie to the judge'. This is not the first time I've heard that this is enshrined in Spanish law but I wonder whether it applies only to the preliminary judicial investigation and not to any subsequent trial.
  • Trigger warning: Moan approaching. . . When a service of my car is a month away, the Honda agent in Vigo starts bombarding me with emails and even phone calls. Last year, these even continued after the service had been carried out. In contrast, I've twice emailed them this week about setting up an appointment to fix a window switch, to no effect. The reason, I guess, for this differential treatment is that one 'service' can be set up on and operated by a computer, while the other needs human agency. This rather seems to endorse my view that Spanish companies only play at customer service without really putting their hearts into it. Whatever, I'll now have to call them today. The Devil takes the hindmost here.
  • To be more positive . . Here's CNN on how to set up 'the perfect' trip to Spain.
  • In 45 days this year, there've been 18 shootings in US schools. I'd venture a guess this is more than in all other civilised countries combined. And yet that benighted country appears to be moving inexorably towards the NRA 'solution' of arming teachers and students. As the plot of a dystopian novel, this would surely be considered preposterous.
  • Meanwhile, the irreligious Fart offers his prayers and says, fatuously, that no one should be murdered in an American school. Possibly the truest thing he's ever said in his life. But words, as we know, are cheap. Especially his.
The UK
  • Here's how to find out which of the newly defined British classes you belong to. The traditional labels have been obsolete for some time, of course, and this is just the latest attempt to put people in boxes for the benefit of ad agencies and marketeers.
Social Media
  • If you weren't already worried enough about Facebook, here's news of their attempt to redefine classes.
The Gender Wars

  • In 2013 - before reality intruded into her life - a Galician woman of unknown age gave more than €53,000 to a 28 year old local con-man whom she'd only 'met' on the Badoo dating site. He would have been in court in Vigo this week if it weren't for a strike by court staff there. The other inexplicable thing about this is that El País chose to put a foto of the Pontevedra court house above its report on it.
  • Rugby is played here in Galicia. As for why, perhaps the name of the Vilagarcía team provides a clue – Os Ingleses. Until the mid 30s, the entire British fleet used to visit this coast every year, to play against the local men and with the local women.
  • Reducing the use of plastic is a tough call. The only things that come in glass these days seem to be jam(jello) and chutney.
  • Is this the very essence of a 'bum rap'?
Today's Cartoon

The world's first dating site? . . . 


Maria said...

I only recently realized one day the fear I sometimes felt when living in Boston. My mother and I had been confronted with guns at different times in different places, yet no shots were ever fired near us. Back then I went to school without worrying much about a gunslinger, though a genius classmate of us was suspended once for bringing to school a gun he had made at home, though just to show it. I do know this: I am now glad my daughter has not grown up there and I am not going back until things change. Which probably means I am not going back at all. The United States has degenerated into the O.K. Corral.

Sierra said...

Trump's words don't come cheap - "The National Rifle Association and its affiliates spent over $50 million in political advertisements in the last US general election, boosting Republicans who promised to support the NRA and targeting Democrats who propose stricter gun laws."

Colin Davies said...

@Maria: Yes, I've been frightened in New Oreleans, New York and Miami but can't ever recall being frightened in the UK. Or Spain. Or any other 15-20 countries I've visited, in fact.

I've always enjoyed visiting greatly the USA - most often on business - but rather doubt I'll do so again.

And I'll never forget walking through a department store in Wilmington and suddenly coming face to face with the gun counter. And the assault rifles.

Colin Davies said...

@Sierra: Does this total include the money allegedly sourced from Russia and passed thro' the NRA?

Kai Mon said...

Can you tell me where you found todays cartoon? I'm writing an archaeology essay on gender and it made me chuckle.

Colin Davies said...

The latest edition of Private Eye. Or perhaps the one before that one. They take time to reach me.