Friday, June 14, 2019

Thoughts from Lisbon, Portugal: 14.6.19

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 yesterday.

Spain 
Portugal
  • Smiling again: The Spanish are always smiling. The Portuguese, rarely. Even when you greet them with a smile. Worse than the English really. The only person who's spontaneously smiled at me was a (very pretty) young woman in the centre of Estremoz, whom I'm pretty sure wanted to entice me into having an eye test in the nearby vehicle. Unless it was a brothel on wheels. Either way, not really very spontaneous. Is this why the Portuguese are said to be the Chinese of Europe? I know that's said about the Dutch but this is because of their commercial expertise/aggression. In Portugal, I feel that all those years I've had to spend learning to make direct eye contact and smile at strangers have been wasted . . .
  • I might generalise about the Portuguese disinclination to smile but there are, of course, exceptions. The lady in a cake shop in Portalegre yesterday could not have been more friendly, for example.
  • Portuguese towns are astonishingly quiet. In Portalegre they play music - not loudly, of course - through speakers on the walls of houses and shops. At least in the old quarter. If not, you might succumb to the delusion you were in a cemetery. 
  • And I do wonder how shops here make money. I rarely see a customer in them. Perhaps I walk past them at the wrong time of day.
  • I've heard it said that it's a legal requirement in Spain that there be a non-toll road as well as a toll road to your destination. So, you have the N6 as well as the A6 if you want to avoid the latter's toll as you get near to Madrid from the West. This doesn't seem to be the case in Portugal, as - driving from Portalegre to Lisbon - you have no choice but to continue on toll roads after your original N road morphs into an A road, with overhead cameras in gantries. Followed by the A1 with traditional pay stations.
UK Politics/Brexit
  • The full name of the man/oaf who's expected by most to be the next prime minister is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, usually known as merely Boris Johnson. Or BoJo. I'd  never heard or seen the bizarre name Pfeffel but found this on it: This most interesting and unusual surname is an Anglicized form of the Germanic surname Pfaeffle", a derivative of "Pfaff", from the German "pfaffe", cleric, parson, or "papst", pope. This is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual nicknames. More here.
  • Says Richard North of him todayNow would be a good time to remind ourselves how awful Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson really is. But we've already been there, pace Max Hastings and his 2012 article headed: "Boris Johnson: brilliant, warm, funny – and totally unfit to be PM".
The Way of the World 
Spanish
Finally . . .
  • An interesting message in my Spam box this morning, 3 times:- Linda Dierks. FUCK YOU!!! I HATE YOU . . . I wonder if this is the lady in question.

13 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


This Pfeffel thing is interesting. Of course, half the Greek surnames begin with 'Papa-', which likewise goes back to an ancestor who was a priest, unless I am mistaken.

ABM

James Atkinson said...

In the circumstances saudade could have been a fitting choice for word of the say.

Perry said...

Reference the beautiful Calle Marques De Larios in Malaga, the final word in the description does not mean what the author thinks it means.

Pedestrian - commonplace, unimaginative.

Pedestrianised - close an area to traffic, making it accessible only to pedestrians.

Last sentence about El Paseo Del Borne, Palma De Mallorca, the plural of sphinx is sphinxes. Do you know why the Great Sphinx of Giza has an inscrutable smile?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx_water_erosion_hypothesis

Would the staff reporter appreciate the corrections, d'you think?

newsdesk@theolivepress.es

Colin Davies said...

Do you know why the Great Sphinx of Giza has an inscrutable smile?


Yes . . . At the height of the mating season . . . which accounts for the hump on the camel and the sphinx's inscrutable smile.

Boom boom.

Lucy Marian said...

Hmmm, I had Linda in my spam too!

Anonymous said...

Count me in for a Linda e-mail! It was nice to see things spiced up over there.

Anonymous said...

Yes Same thing on on the West Coast of BC. Fortunately it never left my spam box. Does not seem like her style.

TatiBR said...

The same thing on my spam box 3 times!!! 🤔

TatiBR said...

Checking my spam box again, I found another email from Client support center... fake email with a link... maybe lady Linda received the same link...

Anonymous said...

I also got the Linda Dierks spam...looks like she has a grudge against a lot of people

tamarla said...

Linda hates me too...

Linda J. Adams said...

I live in Colorado and also got the Linda Spam

Anonymous said...

Hello there,
Living in Ireland, Dublin and got the mail in my spam too... Looks like it's all over the world ahah !! Have a lovely weekend =D