Sunday, June 16, 2019

Thoughts from Lisbon: 16.6.19



Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain

Note: One or two of the items below have been borrowed from Lenox Napier's Business Over Tapas of Thursday

Spain 
  • Not a good development in Madrid. Unless you're a fan of Vox.
  • More bad news.
  • And even more bad news. I remember these mosquitos from Indonesia. They're ferociously aggressive. To be avoided.
  • Talking of badness . . . If I ever knew, I'd forgotten that the notorious Italian family - the Borgias - were actually Spanish. From Borja, in Aragón. They spoke Catalan in the Vatican and held bullfights in St Peter’s Square. Though they're famous for things far worse than this, of course.
Portugal
  • Entering the metro station at Olaias - which, from outside, was nondescript, to say the least - I was astonished - nay, staggered - to find myself in a vast futuristic hall which wouldn't have been out of place as the main station in, say, New York. A few fotos:-







  • Here's a bit on it from Wiki. Click here for a lot more fotos.
  • As for buying a ticket . . . Well, the process is different from that of Oporto. Here in Lisbon, the system is very much like Madrid's, in that you have to first buy a card - at €0.50, against €2.00 in Madrid - and then put on it one or more rides - at only €1.50 each. So, no need to employ someone to stand by the machine explaining to confused foreigners how it works.
  • I might have complained about beggars in Pontevedra but I've never had the experience there of one of them aggressively pursuing me for 50m, loudly demanding (I guess) a donation, as happened just before I reached the metro station.
  • Here's one of the things that makes Spaniards think the Portuguese are more British than other Iberians:-

  • Another is their quietness, of course. Or 'dullness', as the Spanish put it.
UK Politics

The USA
  • This is a coin from about 2,000 years ago, seen at the Gulbenkian museum yesterday. Looks to me like the inspiration for Fart's hairstyle . . . 

Finally . . .
  • I guess it had to happen but I didn't know whether to be pleased, impressed, insulted, annoyed or depressed. A young man offered me his seat on the metro train yesterday . . . I pretended to be amused and declined it. And then walked up the exit stairs while he took the escalator, along with virtually all the other passengers. The youth of today, eh!

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