A SPANISH CHALLENGE: Spanish is phonetic. So say the very least, English isn't. Especially when it comes to the modern pronunciation of old surnames and towns. Cockburn (Cóbern), Gloucester(Gloster) and, Edinburgh(Edinbura), for example. These are all mysteries to Spanish speakers. I have to confess to great amusement when my friend, Fran, told me of the utter consternation of those watching a rugby match between Leicester(Lester) and Leinster(Linster) on the TV in a local bar. They had no idea who the commentators were talking about.
PONTEVEDRA: GOLDEN OLDIES: Here's a few more things I noted 10 years ago about Galicia:
- The banner headline of one of yesterday’s local papers was that the Asian tsunami had hardly affected the coast of Galicia. With Africa in between, this shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise to its readers. I don’t suppose it did much damage to New York or Greenland either.
- No sooner do I stress that violence is not a feature of booze drinking in Spain when the riot squad is called out in Pontevedra to sort out warring gangs. The perils of being a topical commentator.
- Galicia’s economy has grown to the point where it now exceeds the cut off point for EU grants to poor regions. This threatens funds for 2007 onwards. Local politicians have said it won’t be ‘fair’ for Galicia to lose out this way. Whereas it was, one supposes, perfectly fair to receive someone else’s cash for 30 years or so.
- Iberia are complaining about the assistance being given by the Galician government to the likes of Ryanair and Easyjet. Like the local politicians with the loss of EU funds, they are whingeing about the unfairness of it all. Since Iberia’s strategy todate has made it more expensive for Galicians to fly to Madrid than to Hamburg or even New York, there’s not a lot of local sympathy for them. Especially as the low-cost operators will now do vastly more for the local economy than Iberia has ever done. Meanwhile, the state airline has threatened to retaliate by cancelling its one [expensive] daily flight between London and Santiago. This strikes me as being as futile a gesture as my moving my shopping from a churlish checkout girl this morning.
FACEBOOK FRIENDS: I've now sent requests to about 20 women claiming to live in various odd places around the world but who all seem to have an extraordinary interest in Os Porcos Bravos and a willingness to be photographed in various stages of undress. Strangest of all, they all seem to know each other. However, I fear my campaign has been twigged by the real people behind the phoney profiles, as acceptances have dwindled to nothing.
THE PONTEVEDRA ENGLISH SPEAKING SOCIETY: If my citation of this has led to an interest in joining, here's the contact details:- Dylan 607 803 151 or 986 861 070. It's located in Calle Echegaray, 16 3D.
FINALLY: Don't overlook my other blog – Thoughts from Galicia. Which I now have to write.