Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in SpainSpanish Politics
- James Rhodes is a British pianist resident in Madrid. He's become notorious for his rather OTT paeans of praise to that city and to Spain in general. But now he'll be even more famous, as a child-protection law is going to be named after him.
- This is an in-depth analysis of the vitally important Spanish tourism industry and the re-emerged challenges it faces from Turkey, Egypt and Albania. If you can't be bothered to read it all, here's the final para: In conclusion, the new competitive environment in which the Mediterranean basin finds itself will affect the growth of Spanish tourism in the future. Nevertheless, the growth capacity of Spain’s industry is not in question as the pillars on which its leading position has been built are still very solid. Spain continues to be the most competitive tourist destination in the world, at some distance from its rivals in the Mediterranean. Given this situation, focusing on growth through higher quality tourism is one of the keys that can ensure good long-term health for the sector, something the Spanish tourism industry itself has been pointing out for several years.
- After the rocket speed of the insurance and funeral companies during the 48 hours after the death of my friend Peter Missler, we've returned to the customary lame-snail pace of Spanish bureaucracy, as we try to implement his Will and move his orphaned 17 year old son to the Netherlands. Four weeks to get a death certificate, and the involvement of a notary, possibly a judge and certainly the police(!) in getting him permits to leave Spain. Of course, no one who's lived and worked here will be at all surprised at this. Nor at the time, hassle and paperwork involved. And this is ahead of taking on the airline. Needless to say, I don't share all of Mr Rhodes' perspectives on life here.
- Regular readers will know that a couple of times a year I enjoy wild boar stew - and a lot of prawns and wine - with my young friends of a local 8-a-side football club. Here's The Local on this dish. Which, as it happens, is easier to get in restaurants in North Portugal than in South Galicia, despite the increased marauding of the the beasts among the crops here. But, of course, you can always shoot and stew your own. At certain times of the year. And if you have a licence.
- The Abanca bank(sic) is taking over a Portuguese operator. This is a source of pride here, as Abanca used to be a (corrupt) Galician savings bank and most of its operations are here. And so it's referred to in the local media as 'Galician'. In fact, it's owned by a Venezuelan bank and is about as Galician as Santander UK is British.
- Advice from The Olive Press for all you serious gamblers out there. More bureaucracy and regional differences, of course.
- We're going to have regional elections soon. For me, the only interesting aspect will be the preposterous promises made - the latest in a 30 year saga - in respect of the AVE high-speed train service to Madrid. In which I have a high degree of personal interest, of course.
- Which reminds me . . . They tested the 'first-in-the-world' (ground level) lights on O Burgo bridge a couple of nights ago. One paper had them as red and another as green, so I'm a tad confused on this, But, anyway, the installation of the lights will be completed 'this month' - in 2020? - but the termination of the rest of the works 'doesn't yet have a date'. Que sorpresa.
- What Spain could learn from its neighbour, allegedly.
- A headline that sounds good to me: Tech giants risk fines or ban for failing to protect children.
- Words of the Day:-
- Sobreseido: Dismissed, shelved, suspended. As in what seems to be a lot of Spanish court cases.
- Baúl: Car boot/trunk
- Almodarse: To conform, adapt
Finally . . .
- Slot machines in Spain are tragaperras - 'bitch-swallowers'. I wondered why and checked with the Royal Academy, where I found that perra is colloquial for dinero/riqueza. Inter alia. As a female animal, it's naturally used to mean 'whore'.