Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 20.5.18

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 pagehere.

  • More lack of compromise from the new Catalan president. It's as if he wants to actually raise emotions before his meeting with President Rajoy.
  • Good news for shoppers in Spain. Unless you don't like being trackable.
  • There's been a lot of coverage recently of the growing boldness and violence of the drug smugglers in Spain's south west corner. See here on this. And last night I read that our own drug clans are planning to up their involvement there. Apparently, our police are more effective at  busting narcotraficos than their colleagues down south. Or are less susceptible to bribery. Or both, of course.
Life in Spain
  • As far as I recall, King Juan Carlos was never known as John Charles in the UK. In contrast, here in Spain Prince Harry is Principe Henrique. Cultural differences.
  • The smoking habit is reported to be down to around 25% of the Spanish. Must say I find that hard to believe. And wonder what it is among young women, many of whom aspire to appear sophisticated by destroying their lungs.
  • Suddenly, the news is all about Germany. I guess it's what happens when you achieve de facto power, even if you don't want it. Following on from the article I cited on the alleged fall of the German empire, there's been these items in the last day or so:-
  1. An article on stereotypical views of Germans around the world.
  2. Rather more seriously, here's an article on US threats of a trade war on Germany, if the latter continues with the implementation of an oil pipeline from Russia
  3. Finally, here's a paragraph from Duff Cooper's diary, written in Paris in 1944. It's rather shocking but has to be seen in the context of the time and circumstances: The Prefect of Police came, and we set out to visit some of the torture chambers which the Germans had made use of in Paris. It was a moving and terrible experience. We were shown things that only could be believed after being seen. My own hope is that the fullest publicity will be given to these horrors in order that the English and American people may never again make the mistake they have so often repeated of believing that the Germans are normal people and that the Nazis are any different from the ordinary Germans. 
  • I have to confess this reminded me of the sacking of Nicholas Ridley by Mrs Thatcher in 1990, after he'd rather unwisely commented that the EU was all a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe. As if that weren't outrageous enough, he then went on to say: It has to be thwarted. This rushed take-over by the Germans on the worst possible basis, with the French behaving like poodles to the Germans, is absolutely intolerable. I have to say that this might well now be the view of the Greeks, the East European states and, most recently, the new Italian government. And quite possibly some of the British Brexiteers.
The UK
  • Best wedding scene? The train-toting page-boy, with his gap-toothed mouth wide open in wonder as the trumpets greeted the bride-to-be at the door of the chapel. Priceless.
  • El playback – Lip synching.
  • Good to see Galicia's less-well-known wines getting an honourable mention in this article.
  • The Galician president is saddened that one of his closest friends has become a turncoat and left the PP party to join Ciudadanos. I'll bet he is. Things can only get worse for him and his party.
  • Apart from the beggars, the camino 'pilgrims' are once again thick on the streets of Pontevedra. Their average age and their income seem to me to be creeping up. I'd be surprised if some of them had walked all the way from Lisbon. Or even Oporto. Maybe Valença/Tui on the border with Portugal. So that they can do the stipulated 100km+, if they want a Compostela as proof they're a real pilgrim. Of sorts.
Finally . . . 
  • As indicated above, I did my bit and watched that wedding, until she lifted her veil. I'm pleased to report I recognised very few of the alleged celebrities. But I did identify Mr and Mrs Beckham. Does the latter ever smile? And, dresswise, was she aware it was a wedding, not a funeral?

© David Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 20.5.18


Sierra said...

The alleged 1.9 billion world-wide TV audience watching the well-organised wedding must have been wondering how the same nation can be making such a "dog's Brexit" of leaving the EU.

Colin Davies said...

I rather doubt it.

The British government - least of all its cabinet and leastest of all the stupid Brexit trio - is not seen by many as representative of British capability. They hardly escape criticism in the UK.

I hope.

Eamon said...

Germany in the news! Here's something from 1945.