Saturday, October 06, 2018

Thoughts from Viseu, Portugal: 6.10.18

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
  • Here's a fascinating take from El País 
  • Cataluña: Here's Guy Hedgecoe with his take on the Catalan leader, Quim Torra. Who might just be out of his depth. A lot of water has passed under this bridge since the revolt of a year ago. Has there been much progress?
  • As if 'individualistic' cyclists were not enough . . .
Matters Portuguese
  • Spanish pastries are very good on the eye. Portuguese pastries are far better on the pallet.
  • Far fewer young women seem to smoke here in Portugal.
  • Portuguese drivers are excellent at stopping for pedestrians at zebra crossings. On the other hand - not being used to and tolerant of rule-ignoring, individualist Spaniards (and Englishmen - they're easily annoyed by you walking across the road where there isn't a crossing. Which seems fair enough.
  • Drinks are remarkably cheap here, compared with Spain. On the other hand, you never get a tapa – or even a biscuit with your 70-100 cents coffee – and there's never a box of tissues on the table.
  • Here's someone on Portugal's best culinary offerings.
  • I'm told it's virtually impossible to rent a flat in the centre of Viseu these days. So, if they're all occupied, how come there was hardly a light on in any of them in the centre last night? Perhaps they're neither occupied nor available for rent. Just investments??
  • Wherever you enter a Catholic church in Spain or in Portugal, you can be sure that there's at least one old woman kneeling in or sitting on a pew. Or, at least, that's what I thought until we went into one last night to find we were the only people there.
  • Nearly all of the places you want to see in Viseu have English (and sometimes Spanish) translations of the information plaques outside them. They're not bad but are far from perfect. Are there really no native speakers in Viseu? That's not the real question, of course.
  • Yesterday was what we Brits call a Bank Holiday. Ironic, then, that one of the few places open was the Millenium BPC bank.
Matters UK
The Spanish Language
  • Word of The Day: One we all know well . . . Chapuza.
Finally . . .
  • I'm told that Dutch and German kids are first taught to write cursively and then, later, to write the letters separately, as if they were typed. To the best of my recollection, this is the opposite to what is done in the UK. Or was when I was a kid.
© [David] Colin Davies: 6.10.18


Lenox said...

I was with my Spanish companion in Portugal last year (we met Colin in Porto). We still make jokes back in Almería about drivers stopping at a Zebra Crossing: 'they must be Portuguese', we say.

Maria said...

I learned to print first, in the U.S., and I think I remember learning cursive in third grade (or it might have been second). Whereas, my daughter here was taught from the beginning a cross between cursive and print; capital letters in print, and lower case in cursive.