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Thoughts from Galicia, Spain

Random thoughts from a Brit in the North West. Sometimes serious, sometimes not. Quite often curmudgeonly.

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain:9 July 2020
09 July 2020 @ 10:04

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day

Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   

- Christopher Howse: 'A Pilgrim in Spain'*

Current Life in Spain: Living La Vida Loca . .   

  • It’s reported that Beach surveillance officers registered over 26,000 incidents during the first weekend of July in Andalucia. And that: 55 beaches in Andalucia were forced to close over the first weekend, after reaching maximum capacity. This left me wondering how many arrests were made and how many issued to the thousands who clogged British beaches a week or so ago. Quite possibly none. With people simply being politely asked to ‘Move along, please’.
  • My new TIE: Well, I got through to a nice lady at the comisaría at 11 yesterday, after calling many times after 9. And now I have a cita for next Wednesday and a couple of downloaded forms. One of these is the tax form (Modelo 790) and the other is the application form (Ex-23). Needless to say, the latter calls for the names of my parents and also cites several documents I have to take. This is despite the fact that immediately after I gave the nice lady my NIE she identified me on her computer, confirming that they know all about me and don’t really need all the data again. But, then, we all know that the introduction of computerisation hasn’t reduced the amount of paper in Spain. Possibly the opposite. Hence the continued relevance of the word papeleo. Which is defined as by the Royal Academy as: Excessive processes in the resolution of a subject. And translated as ‘paperwork’ or ‘red tape’.
  • Incidentally, a reader has kindly suggest it’s possible to get a cita on line. And this might just be the internet page you need.
  • Yesterday I went to a perfumaría to look for a particular cream. During the 5 minutes or so I scanned the shelves, the shop assistant maintained a conversation on her phone. From the tone and laughter, I guessed this wasn’t her boss. So I walked out and went elsewhere for the cream. She clearly couldn’t have cared less about the loss of my custom. This is not an infrequent occurrence in Spain and very possibly a Spaniard would simply have interrupted her conversation to ask a question. It rather supports my contention that there’s little that’s more important in Spain than chatting with one’s friends. And also my other contention that the customer is still not king in Spain.
  • Far be it from me to spread a rumour but I was told last night that it’s a secret that the Galician government - the Xunta - is planning to impose another lockdown on the region. Just a week before I make ta rip to the Netherlands. But I guess there are worse places to be stuck in.
  • Which reminds me . . . We have a regional election coming up. Covid permitting. The press is full of stuff on this and there are election posters everywhere. Doubtless we’ll soon have the van going round regurgitating exhortations on a loop. All very boring. Especially as there’s only a snowball’s chance in hell of this conservative region not putting the right-of-centre PP party back in power.
  • María’s chronicle of our Adjusted Normal Day 24, where she touches on our politics.

The USA

  • Trump's fake culture war is now all he has left: With the US economy in the toilet, 'Keep America Great' no longer makes quite such a brilliant slogan.
  • In a rare public rebuke, Dr Fauci has that President Trump’s claim that 99% per cent of coronavirus cases were “totally harmless” was “unfortunate”.

English/Spanish

  • Three more refranes:-

- It’s just a question of putting 2 and 2 together: Por el hilo se saca el ovillo.

- It’s like talking to a brick wall: Es Como hablar a la pared.

- It’s like water off a duck’s back: Como quien oye llover.

Finally . . . 

  • This is said to be the worst picture ever painted, by Watteau. A maid giving an enema to her mistress . . . .

 

 * A terrible book, by the way. Don't be tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.



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