Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Thoughts not from Galicia, Spain: 1.5.18

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 page here.

  • Yesterday's interesting question:- Belgium is in Holland, no?
  • And the contender for most Spanish statement of the week:- We're wonderfully kind people in this town. But not those outside it.
  • Contender for the most amusing comment of the week: Shame you're not here next week. We have a world famous motorbike fiesta.
  • Talking about things Spanish, here's a little scenario:-
We've decided that we'll take a 20 minute bus ride to the next town as one of the group is suffering from bad blisters and can't walk further. We're told the bus leaves at 4.30. So we decide to walk (or limp) 15 minutes to the bus-stop and then get a drink at a bar near it.
We arrive at 3.40, to find an old woman standing at it. She tells us that the bus comes at 4, which is not only not what we've been told but also not what it says on the bus company's site.
So, we abandon plans to go across the road for a drink.
At 3.55, a guy arrives and tells us the bus is due at 4.15. So, still no time for that drink.
At 4.10, a woman arrives and says the bus will arrive at 4.30. For the first time since we arrived 35 minutes previously, the (frail-looking) old woman sits down. Possibly in shock.
I predict that these 3 people will now spend the 15 minutes available talking entirely about buses and the performance of the bus company. Which is exactly what they do. We decide they've formed an informal Association of Unhappy Bus Users.
But they talk/moan not for 15 but for 25 minutes, as the bus arrives 10 minutes late, exactly an hour after we'd arrived. Which, in retrospect, would have been enough for not 1 but 2 glasses of wine.
The 3 other actors in this scenario climb into the bus and each of them chats to the driver, probably indicating why the bus is running late.
We get on, pay our fares and move along the bus towards the available seats. Our 3 friends are seated apart but are still talking/arguing about buses as we pass them.
  • Another camino day on which the 3 texts I have in Spanish prove to be erroneous in some way or other. As before, confusion is engendered by different numbering of the roads we use or cross. Which is hardly surprising when they can have up to 4 numbers. On this subject, I note – in the bus we're on – that the road we're on goes in not 2 but 3 different directions. I ask myself how this is possible. But get no reply.
  • I read yesterday a report about a bullfighter who'd been injured in a Madrid corrida last week, after being severely gored there last year. I couldn't help wondering whether he's in the right business.
  • In El Diario de Jerez, I noted that – when sending a letter to the editor – you have to restrict yourself to 20 lines (fair enough) and give your address (again, fair enough). But you also have to provide your ID number. FFS, why?? Is there the same obsession with this number in, say France and Germany, as there is here in Spain?
  • Finally . . . Yet again . . . Another day, another room, another failure to get wifi. This time either on my phone or on my laptop. The router needs to be switched off and back on but, in this (better than a hotel) hostel, there's no one around to do this. And today's a national holiday.
  • Funny, isn't it. At the same time as Fart is claiming that the Iranians can't be trusted he's telling us he can do a great deal with the president of North Korea. The man really does believe in himself.

Lebrija's smaller version of Sevilla's Giralda tower . . .


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Even Holland is not really in Holland. It is in the Netherlands. As is Belgium, except that the Flemish fools thought they'd be better off on their own, back in 1830. Look at them now...


Colin Davies said...

Yes, the very centre of Euope.

Perry said...

Brussels may be shorthand for the EU, but the EP shares with Luxenbourg & Strasbourg, its place in the so-called centre. It's bloody moronic.


Most Toreros of the past came from very impoverished circumstances & were often illiterate. The Corrida was a dangerous opportunity for advancement. Kids would sneak onto bull breeding ranches in the dead of night for the chance of a few passes. This was very frowned upon as a young bull could quickly learn that the muleta was not the threat, but the kid shaking it. Facing a Toro of 4 years is a daunting prospect. In 1982, at a fiesta in Olite, I hopped the barreras to face a scrawny cow with sawn horns. I knew the principles, Head in a curve towards the head, pass just in front of the horns & pirouette past the far side of the animal.$hit; they move fast, those Spanish cows. Also devious. I'm here though.

Carlos Arruza was very famous in the 1940s & he earned vast sums. He retired at 33 in 1953, but returned to the arena in 1956. When questioned, he said that he had had to work very hard to spend his $2,000,000 fortune in just 3 years, but he'd managed it & now, he needed to earn another fortune. He did it too, but died in a car crash in 1966. Far fewer big earners nowadays though.

I attended my first Corrida in 1960. I read everything I could get my hands & I had a very good idea of what to look for, such as feet being firmly planted during passes of cape
or muleta. Whether the Toro charged straight without hooking to either side or whether it would charge freely from any part of the arena or whether it would retreat to a spot in the arena, from which it could only be induced to charge with difficulty & danger.