Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 13.6.18

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.

Life in Spain
  • A fascinating development in the town of Almussafes in the Valencia region. I wonder if it'll work. Hope so. We could do without the problem.
  • It's commonplace for Spanish film titles to bear little relationship to their English originals. For no apparent reason. For example, I see that the famous Rosemary's Baby is The Devil's Seed here. Maybe it was felt - 50 years ago under Franco - this would drag in more Catholics.
  • The basic speed of the administration of justice here - unless the PP wants otherwise - is Dead Slow. But right now, here in Galicia, it's Stop. For court officials have been on strike for several months now. Not a good situation.
The USA and that summit
  • You only need to dwell on the man's words, always cheap of course:-
- We got to know each other well in a very confined period of time.
- We had a short but intense relationship.
- We have a very special bond.
- I think he trusts me, and I trust him.
- [Kim] is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and is able to run it and run it tough is talented. I don't say he was nice.
- He's got a great personality. He's a funny guy. He's very smart. He's a great negotiator. He loves his people. Not that I'm surprised by that.
- His people have great fervour for their leader.
- North Korea is going to be a wonderful country very quickly.
- They have great beaches. And a great real estate opportunity.
- Human rights? - I believe it's a rough situation there. We talked about this at length. It's rough in a lot of places, by the way. I believe he will do the right thing.
- A lot of people are very surprised at the document.
- I believe Kim will start de-nuclearisation virtually mmediately.
- I've delivered peace in our time. Oh, no, that was someone else.

The bone-shivering thing is that Fart might well believe all this, and is not just talking up a PR event ahead of mid-term elections.

Final comments from acute 3 observers:-
- Did we really need a summit to get this [say-little] document?
- The North Koreans got an immediate end to military exercises on the peninsula. What did the USA get beyond cost savings?
- I think China got everything it wanted out of this meeting.

On the issue of global trade, this comment has the ring of truth about it:- His positions on trade are ignorant and hypocritical on every single level. And he is using that as a pretext to undermine the entire global trading order and disrupt our closest and most important alliances. He isn’t just a bull in a China shop, he’s an incredibly stupid bull in a Canada shop.

En passant, here's the comment of one of the apparently countless evangelist nuts in the USA: Let me tell you, Trump is speaking words of life over our country and over this nation. And in every word he speaks, I see the hand of God upon it. That would be the staggeringly vindictive evangelist god, I assume.

  • As I've said, the AVE high-speed train to Galicia was originally promised for the 1990s and is currently promised for 31 December 2019. Or 2020, as the rest of us call it. The local PSOE party – in opposition – has always railed against the interminable delays and mocked the regular pre-election promises of imminence from the ruling PP party. But, now that the PSOE is (sort of) in power in Madrid, there's concern that the project might be delayed yet again, on cost grounds.
  • More than 20% of Galician university students are reported to emigrate immediately after graduation. I suspected this meant merely to other parts of Spain but it turned out to really mean self-exile to other countries, in search of work. Notwithstanding Brexit, the UK remains – by a long way – the most favoured option, as the destination of 50% of the young folk. The chance to perfect their English is obviously a big draw.
  • The Catholic Church has more than 7,800 properties in the region, on none of which is levied the IBI municipal tax the rest of us have to pay. You'd be forgiven for concluding the church is as poor as Christ was. Which reminds me . . .
Finally . . .
  • The Vatican is reported to be considering beatifying the British writer G K Chesterton ahead of making him a saint. This is because 'miracles' happened when infertile couples prayed to him, asking him to seek God's help with their problem. As Chesterton is widely regarded as an anti-semite, the only possible response has to be Oy veh!
© David Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 13.6.18

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