Friday, March 20, 2020

Thoughts from Jávea, Valencia, Spain: 20.3.20

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                                    - Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain [A terrible book, by the way. Don't be           tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.]
The Coronavirus

What to leave out??
  • The Guardia Civil, as you might expect for a militarised police force, seem to be enjoying their role of enforcer of the increasingly strict regulations - apparently now stopping every car and person out in the street. I expect to be hauled over several times en route to Pontevedra tomorrow.
  • All hotels here will be closed by next Thursday, possibly by Tuesday here in the Valencia region. It's reported there are 40,000 tourists still here and as many as 100,000 along all the costas and in the Balearic islands. Some of these must be arrests waiting to happen.
  • Police on the Costa Blanca have said they'll arrest anyone participating in a meeting of 'more than one person'. I think they should to the whole hog and arrest those in a meeting of a single individual. If they can catch any.
  • It's only been a week of shutdown but:-
A guy in Vigo has asked to be arrested because he can no longer stand living with his mother.
- A young Mallorcan has threatened to kill his upstairs neighbours because of their intolerable noise.
  • On the other hand, my delighted daughter in Madrid reported last night that someone in her Malasaña street was singing opera on his balcony.
  • On a musical note . . . Here's the big hit of the moment; Stay Home. Not quite Mozart. Or even, say, the Beatles,
  • It's going to be an interesting 3 months . . . To be going on with, here's Day 5 of María's Galician small town chronicle.
  • And here's news of a (Spanish) app which will help you self diagnose. Probably a better option than the NHS web page and helpline in the UK
 Life in the Time of Something Like Cholera
  • Spain's politicians may have declared themselves impotent as regards the ex-king's corruption and philandering but the people at large are not at all happy. So, they've displayed their displeasure in typical Spanish fashion. Noisy but totally unproductive. But at least it won't get you arrested.
  • I've been known to say that Spanish companies don't really 'get' customer service but that the internet allows them to 'play at it'. In effect, to go through the motions. None of the UK companies I deal with and who all have real Customer Service departments have emailed me to say they're still operating  but both of my Spanish banks and all my 3 insurance companies have done so. Easy and cheap. My health insurance company has actually also written merely to ask me to rank the chance of my recommending them to someone else. And yesterday I even got a Father's Day email from Santander bank. As if the internet wasn't already clogged up.
Shysters Corner
  • Words of the day:- 
- Ataúd: Coffin
- Feretro: Ditto
- Ferretro: Hardware
Ferretería: Hardware store. Not a funeral home.
Finally . . . 
  • Seen in a pharmacy. My guess is the owner learnt his/her English from a Southerner who uses the long A for 'staff:-.-
  • I'm enjoying a series of podcasts on the history of Spain. The compiler is Spanish and his script is word perfect but, my god, is his pronunciation wrong at times, for which he does apologise at the outset. Some examples I've struggled with:-
  1. Plaque: Plague
  2. Kreest: Christ
  3. Iceland: Island
But I still heartily recommend the impressive podcast. Incidentally, I learned there of the Antonine plague ('plaque') of 165-180AD which killed c. 33% of the population in some regions of Italy. And which led me to articles on the Black Death and the London plague of 1665, where the numbers were even higher.

And, on that happy note, I'll knock off for today.

No, hang on. For those with a funny bone and a strong stomach, here's an hilarious video from the Australian satirical outfit The Juice Media. [Munted: Australian slang:  Intoxicated (by drugs or alcohol)]


Maria said...

I agree whole heartedly that those who live in towns and cities should stay at home. But those of us who live in villages, heck, the OUTSKIRTS of villages, like me, should be allowed to wander into the woods. But we can't. Normally, the woods are abandoned. The only people you'll find in them are hunters (in season) and lumbermen. (Contrary to older women's ideas, rapists are not hiding behind rocks waiting to pounce on a woman.) But we are told we can't go, even if we come into no contact with anyone, at all, ever.

I think the first act of freedom I will do, whether or not I am accompanied, is to get in the car, fill the gas tank, and just drive.

Maria said...

By the way, "ferretro" doesn't exist. The word is "ferretero" and means the owner or worker at a hardware store.

Colin Davies said...

Reverso, for what it's worth, told me it was 'hardware', so I assumed the other words came from that - ferretero and ferretería.

But you're right that it's not in the RAEW dictionary.

Collins give ferretería and quincalla for (domestic) ¡ 'hardware'