Friday, January 10, 2020

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 10.1.20

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
Spanish Life
  • One of Vincent Werner's (very many) complaints about getting things done in Spain is that companies here simply don't respond to emails. This is certainly my experience - again this week - and you can usually only rely on a response if there's a form built into the Customer Attention page on a company's web page. It remains almost as true as ever that the best way to get things done in Spain is face-to-face. After that, the phone. And then email. Don't even think about a letter.
  • And then there's the critical importance of the 'personal factor'. If you have it, mountains can be moved very quickly. If you don't . . .
  • The Local is still going flat out with advice for 2020, and beyond:-
  1. Cut-price rail tickets this month.
  2. Tipping norms in Spain. Non-tipping, to be more accurate.
  3. Regional/local specialities in the food line.
  4. Things of interest to adrenalin junkies.
Galician Life
  • This morning, I again passed under the low bridge in Alba ('Dawn'), on the outskirts of Pontevedra city. And noticed that only 5 of the 10 hanging metal strips are still in place. One wonders why, given the frequency of accidents there.
  • Which has just reminded me that, when I passed in the opposite direction yesterday, there was a car upside down on the grass verge in front of the bridge. Hard to know how it got that way. Possibly going too fast and trying to avoid a truck stuck under the bridge, around a blind corner.
  • Still on the 'old road' to Santiago, i. e. not the expensive AP9 autopsista. . . . A few years go - on the edge of a village inexplicably called Slavery (Esclavitud/Esclavitude), a book by a Brit used La Perla on the edge of the village as an example of the profusion of brothels in Spain. But business must have gone south, as I noticed yesterday that the sign has gone and the place is boarded up. 
  • You'll all be wanting to know re progress on Pontevedra's O Burgo bridge over the last 3 weeks. Well . . . nil. They haven't even finished the railings on one side. Never mind started on the other.
  • Anyway, here's what it used to look like. Even before the - now removed - elegant lampposts:-

And this is now:-

Nutters/Shysters Corner
  1. Phrase of the Day: Viejo verde. Dirty old man. Nabokov, for example. Literally 'green old man'.
  2. Slang expressions, from The Local.
Finally . . . 
  • Boy, can Dutch names be difficult for us poor Anglos . . .

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