Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 15.3.18

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.

  • An editorial in El País says the journal welcomes the decision by the Strasbourg court, and views it as a breath of fresh air in a country that is intent on toughening criminal punishments and undermining freedom of expression. Yes, indeed.
  • Being one of the tribe, it pains me to say lawyers have a much lower status in Spain than in the Anglo world. And much less income. In part, this is because Spain is less litigious but mainly, I suspect, it's because those notoriously bureaucratic civil servants and 18th century relics – the notarios – do much of the stuff normally given to lawyers in the Anglosphere. And are treated as demi-gods as a result. So, what does it mean for Spain that the Prime Minister-cum-President is a notario and 75% of the country's politicians are lawyers who've never done a proper job? Compared with 25% in the USA.
  • Talking of the out-of-time Rajoy . . . Rumour has it that the PP big beasts are manoeuvring/conspiring to get shut off him so as to create an unbeatable right-of-centre fusion of PP and their clothes-stealing newish party, Ciudadanos. The new leader would be the photogenic Rivera, currently leading Ciudadanos in whatever direction he thinks it will garner him votes. This week.
Life in Spain
  • A couple of hours after I posted my comment yesterday on the failure of Línea Directa to show gratitude to a faithful client, the post brought notice of a 'loyalty-rewarding' gift from them. But I still think they're playing at customer service, via a computer. Actual service via emails has deteriorated and communication is now strictly verbal and mainly one way. If I call them - on a premium line – we might just get somewhere. At my expense. Or it would be, if I hadn't discovered a free number.
  • Being more positive . . . I've much enjoyed reading Tim Parfitt's A Load of Bull. Plenty of smiles, titters and quite a few belly laughs. He published it in 2006, about his (often mad) adventures in the Madrid of the late 80s and 90s. But some things haven't changed in 20 years. As far as I can see, there's still an obsession in the media with Isabel Preysler and Ana Óbregon. And lots of corruption. And the crazy Spanish horario, low sleep levels and copious partying. Oddly, there's even a mention of Donald Trump.
  • Something has changed in the White House in recent weeks. The turnover of staff, already dizzying, gathered even more momentum. Many close observers have described Trump as newly unfiltered and unshackled, with fewer and fewer pairs of hands to save him from himself. This has two components. First, more unilateral decision-making by Trump himself. Secondly, personnel. Trump is creating an administration in his own image, not likely to contradict him but rather to provide affirmation. Less a team of rivals than a chorus of praise singers. I wonder if he'll make them back out of the Oval Office, bowing, after seeing him, as the Shah of Iran used to do, before he was deposed.
  • If you want an insight into Moscow's disinformation techniques, click here.
  • Deutsche Bank has come under something of a cloud in recent years. It used to be the partner of the Post Office (Correos) here in Spain but this went south a couple of years ago. Here's an article on the bank's links with Fart and his dubious empire.
Nutters Corner
  • Countless US evangelists have tweeted to express their joy that Stephen Hawking is 'now finding out how the universe really was created'. Some wit has proposed a new statistic - The Stephen Hawking Number: It’s the amount of time between your death and when religious people start announcing on social media that you’re burning in Hell. Lovely people.
  • I should confess that at 5 of the 10 umbrellas I cited yesterday as having been destroyed by the elements were all lost in the first winter I was here – 2000-2001. When it rained and stormed from the end of November to some time in June. Seriously challenging my decision to move here. I spent 3 months of the following winter in Andalucia. Where it rained more than back in Galicia. Much to the amusement of my new-found Galician friends.

  • I'm an ardent fan of ginger and use it whenever I can. But a recipe for peanut noodles and double ginger[?] soba rather threw me. Soba turns out to be variety of buckwheat, called alforfón in Spanish, I think. (Little alfalfa grass?). Or maybe trigo sarraceno
Today's Cartoon

Talking of lawyers . . . And the Gender Wars:-

Colin Davies: Pontevedra, 15.3.18

1 comment:

Perry said...

Where do you purchase your soba noodles? Tesco have them in the UK.