Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Thoughts from León, Spain: 15.5.19

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
Spain
  • A reminder of Spain's architectural wonders.
  • It's hard to believe anyone anywhere in the world can still be taken in by this centuries-old scam. But there's one born every minute, they say.
  • If you work in Spain, this advice on clocking in and out could be useful to you. I wonder if it really will help all those people who are routinely exploited here, for example most/all waiters and waitresses and bar staff.
  • Here in Galicia, the Spanish national rail carrier, RENFE, is going to face competition from the German operator Arriva. This promises to cut travel times not only between La Coruña in the north to Vigo in the south but also between these cities and Oporto in North Portugal. Which will be a good thing. Especially if the trains go straight through to the latter. Currently, they only do so from Vigo.
  • Meanwhile, if you want to get to Madrid from Galicia, you have to transfer to a bus between Ourense and Zamora. Which is definitely not a very good thing.
  • You might not know that the inventor of table football (futbolín) was a Galician. And this is the 100th anniversary of the year of his birth. But I don't think he's around to celebrate with a game.
  • The Galician tourist agency says that foreigners now represent 23% of tourists to the region. In this case, I believe they really are from other countries and not just from other Spanish regions.
  • The local Faro de Vigo newspaper seems to think the new royal baby has the double-barrelled surname Mountbatten Windsorf. I guess Windsurf would have been even funnier.
Camino news
  • I'm in Ponferrada today, theoretically at the start of a camino. But one of our trio has an Achilles heel problem and this could mean a premature end for at least him and me. Así son las cosas.  
  • Meanwhile, each of us has experienced an AC system which overnight raised the temperature in my room from 23 when I arrived at midnight to 27 this morning, despite an instruction of 18. The hotel's explanation is that the system is switched off, as it's still cool in the evenings. But they are going to look at it. . . 
The UK 
  • The current parliamentary session is the longest since the English Civil War in the 17th century.  And yet it is doing nothing. The reason for this stasis is, of course, Brexit. A political vacuum has been created. Is it any surprise it has been filled by Nigel Farage?
The EU
Spanish
  • Word of the Day: Dieta. I have a quibble. The text includes one meaning as 'subsistence allowance' with this example: Dentro de su salario están incluidas las dietas. His salary includes the diets.  Really? Does any native speaker use 'diets' in this way, as opposed to 'expenses'?
Finally . . .
  • Requests from camino 'pilgrims' for my Guide to Pontevedra City have now rocketed to 4, way above the number of requests from readers of this blog. Which is logical. At least I haven't completely wasted my time.

3 comments:

Maria said...

Yes, "dietas" means expenses for meals. When a job description includes "dietas" that means you can hand in restaurant receipts and eat for free.

Eamon said...

"dietas" appears to be similar to Luncheon Vouchers that come with some jobs in the UK.

Anthea said...

Mountbatten Windsorf! well, I first misheard the name as Archie Harrison Outback Windsor. I now think he should officially be kniwn as Outback Windsurf - a truly original name, no doubt making the family popular with the Aussies!