Saturday, January 04, 2020

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 4.12.19

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
The Spanish Economy 
  • Here's an upbeat report, at least as regards the macro situation. Down below, people are still struggling more than in similar mixed economies. Not so the already wealthy.
Spanish Politics
  • The new coalition government of the Left has said it'll raise taxes on said already-wealthy. Not before time, some would say.
Spanish Life
  • These were on sale in our flea market last Sunday. Back in the UK, you can't even buy the scout knife featured. Possibly even a pen-knife these days:-
  • The EU nation spending the highest percentage of its GDP - 14.4% - on 'catering services' (covering restaurants, takeaways, cafes and canteens) is . . .  Ireland. But Spain comes in a close second, at 13%. Against an EU average of 7%.
  • Back to the issue of public healthcare.  . . . I took a friend to the Urxencias department of Santiago hospital yesterday. The facilities were fine and all the personnel very friendly and attentive. But we had to wait for more than 10 hours for a diagnosis and his admittance for further tests. Because of the looming weekend, Friday is not a good day to need these, it seems. Especially if the following Monday is a día festivo. I don't know if things would have taken this long in the French or UK health systems but I was naturally left wondering.
Galician Life
  • I pass under a low railway bridge every time I drive to Santiago on the old road. Just before it, there's a frame from which dangle metal panels, to warn truck drivers of its height. This doesn't seem to do much good, as this happens at least once a year. Perhaps because the panels are knocked off one by one:-
  • Here's the old view of the Peregrina church from Rúa Michelena, the street down which all the city's religious processions progres from the basilica de Santa María to the Peregrina church:-
And here's today's view. Not hugely different:-

 The Way of the World
  • Stephen Pinker, in 'The Better angels of Our Nature': Perhaps the least contentious claim about human nature is that humans are apt to have sex under a wider range of circumstances than those in which they are capable of bringing up the resulting babies.
The USA/Nutters Corner
  • Televangelist Kenneth Copeland avers that Christians have no right to criticise a man put in his position by their version of God.
  • Words of the Day:-
 1. This is the cardboard thing that's used in hospitals for horizontal male urination:-

I now know that, in common parlance, it's called a conejo, or rabbit. Which is also the Spanish slang equivalent of 'pussy'. But I didn't ask if this was because it's something the male member goes into.
2. Paja: Straw. But another slang word. So I was surprised to be offered a pajita by a young nurse yesterday.

Finally . . . 
  • I knew of Tangier island but it seems there's another one off the US eastern coast where old English pronunciation is still common. 

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