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Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

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

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 22 October 2020
22 October 2020 @ 14:36

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'* 

Covid

More analysis of Spain’s failures, here and here.  Fingered: Spain's bitter political polarization and its devolved model of state. . . .  The problem here is that of confrontation and there are no mechanisms of cooperation between the institutions. Shades of Manchester v London in the UK.   

Living La Vida Loca in Spain/Galicia

The AVE high speed train to Madrid. Was originally promised for the 1990s but now for ‘next year’. BUT . . . The stretch between Zamora and Pedralba has finally been opened and this will take 1.5 hours off the 6-7 hour journey from Pontevedra to Madrid. Twelve hours in the case of the night train. Shame none of us are allowed to go to Madrid,

Early 2003: It's actually the anniversary of the Prestige disaster today. One of the papers has stressed that none of the various measures proposed - special harbour, more tugs, etc. has yet been introduced. If it happened again tomorrow, Galicia/ Spain would be just as exposed to the consequences. There was another good cartoon today. It showed pictures of the various organisms that are affected in various degrees by the hydrocarbon residues. Some seafood was said to be very affected and some relatively unaffected. The most unaffected organisms were national and local politicians. 

Mid 2003: The local paper says that the gypsy encampment at the bottom of the hill will give way to a block of flats by 2005, which itself will be surrounded by an industrial park. Wonder what happened to that plan. We still have the gypsies but I believe the expansion of the small industrial park we do have has been in negotiation for 15 years now. Decathlon is on hold . . .

December 2003: I wonder whether the pedestrian-killing season has begun in Pontevedra. I say this because yesterday I twice had to take evasive action on a zebra crossing and this morning I witnessed the ultimate in confrontation. Just after I had negotiated a crossing, I heard a strident car horn and looked over my shoulder to see a young driver gesticulating and shouting at an old man who was rather slowing making his way across the road. The gestures and the language made it quite dear that the latter was being berated for not stopping in the middle of the crossing to make sure that the former had enough time in which to stop. The clear inference was that the young man had every right to drive exactly how he liked. In fact, he was advertising this belief by driving a garish red sports car. Others of this ilk drive customised cars with ludicrous spoilers fore and aft and speakers that seem to direct all their sound outwards for our benefit. More often than not their cars are painted yellow, not a colour I would previously have associated with naked aggression. They are not unique to Spain, of course, but seem rather numerous here. The local word for them is 'morulos', which doesn't appear in my dictionary but which seems to mean something like 'country bumpkin'.

Cooking octopus in copper pots.  . .  Reader Perry says that a tin lining is one answer to alleged coper toxicity, as is stainless steel. And ‘ceramic-tech’. And here’s a top-of-line option:-

María has commented that some Portuguese coffees are available in Galicia, so I will keep looking. She’s also said you can get wine from other parts of Spain but I’m sure she means in the supermarkets, which is true. I really meant you’d get a blank stare from a bartender or waitperson in the region.

This would be fascinating. I wonder if it’s true.  

The USA

I have to admit that I've been amazed at the brilliance of Donald Trump in the last week or two, as - stoked up on steroids - he's shown other comedians just how to do improv and parody. His "Suburban mums, please love me!” was a stroke of pure genius. How we laughed. What a comic career he has ahead of him! Or will it shortly be behind him? What a loss to the world that would be.

Finally . . .

Talking of humour . . . Reader sp has given a very funny alternative to the German language quote I cited:

Why do Germans look so serious when you tell them a joke?

They're waiting for the verb.

 

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

 

 



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