Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 2.10.18

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. Garish but informative.

Matters Spanish
  • Murdoch plans for Spain- Not good news
  • I seem to recall that when I was young, public works were executed without publicity. In Spain these days nothing happens without huge signs about the project, the company involved, the amount of money the local government is paying,  and - of course - how much the EU is providing. Is this progress?
  • Here's El País, in Spanish, on the dastardly Dutch and their scurrilous Black Legend activities.
  • Another useful word from The Local - empalagoso.
Social Media Matters
  • The internet allows one to soar into the stratosphere or to sink into the gutter. One example of the latter is the 'influencers'. These are folk who post phony laudatory articles on the net, paid for by the company selling the product or service they praise to the skies. But they've been rumbled and have now turned to offering negative reports of one's competitors. At GBP75-85,000 a shot.
Matters Galician and Pontevedran
  • During its tripe weekend, the town of Porriño managed to serve up 25,000 portions of the stuff. Btw . . . Reader Paideleo has advised me I mis-read the report on this event. There weren't 38 recipes but 38 stalls. Must read more carefully.
  • Pontevedra province boasts the highest number in Spain of drivers fined for not having a licence Whether this is absolutely true or a reflection of more diligent policing is impossible to know.
  • There were very few roundabouts in Galicia 10 years or so ago. When I went up into the hills on Sunday – to an area I used to visit a lot – I couldn't help noticing there's now one of these at virtually every junction. Regardless of the density of traffic. One wonders what the factors are behind this apparent mania. And whether Spaniards will ever be taught how to negotiate roundabouts correctly. . .
  • I see more and more camino pilgrims crossing the bridges to leave Pontevedra city for hotels and Airbnb places in the barrios across the river. Including mine. And yet the town council says there's no need for a new hostal to accommodate the ever-increasing numbers.
Finally . . .
  • More relevant Orwell:
  1. Franco was not strictly comparable with Hitler and Mussolini. His wasn't a revolution but a military mutiny backed up by the aristocracy and the Catholic Church . . . not so much to impose fascism as to restore feudalism. [Interestingly, this was the only passage that the Franco-era censor cut from the first Catalan translation of Homage to Catalonia in 1970.]
  2. The English are not intellectual. They have a horror of abstract thought . . They have a certain power of acting without taking thought. Their world-famed hypocrisy is tied up with this.
Footnote: From today, I plan to be in Portugal, Germany, Holland and the UK over the next 3 months, coming back to Spain for the birth of my 3rd grandchild in Madrid in January. So, there won't be a lot of thoughts from Galicia. Or even Spain.

© [David Colin Davies: 2.10.18

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