Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 22.5.21

 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’ 

NOTE: Info on Galicia and my Guide to Pontevedra city here

 Covid 

Spain has called on the British government to relax restrictions for visitors to regions with low contagion rates. Fat chance, I suspect.

Cosas de España/Galiza

The Prime Minister has confirmed that from next Monday, travellers from the UK, Japan New Zealand, South Korea or China will be able to enter Spain without undergoing quarantine or showing a negative PCR test. I wonder if Brits wanting to avoid quarantine on returning home, can use Oporto, Lisbon or Faro as starting and ending points for their Iberian adventure.

More here on how to beat the ’90 days in 180’ restriction

It’s official: Some laws in Spain are not real laws and can be ignored with impunity. Until the police decide to implement them. The head of the Traffic Department has admitted they’ve been going easy on cyclists, ignoring offences so as to promote the use of bikes. But now, he says, the time has come for them to meet their obligations. By which I think he means the cyclists, not the police. We’ll see. As with the e-scooters which whiz around pedestrian areas at more than 20kph.

Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas relates the story of a Spanish coast guard arresting a jet-ski driver in the summer of 2014 under the impression he’d caught a narcotráficante. The driver had no papers but insisted – rightly – he was the king of Morocco and so he didn’t need any bloody papers. Cue embarrassed cop.

I wonder if anyone (Lenox?) knows the answer to the perpetual conundrum – Why do Spanish estate agents(realtors) never email you the details they’ve promised to? Despite earning 3% on a sale.

Good news for older Spanish men . . . British writer Elaine Kingett, who’s 71, has tried Badoo and Lovoo – never heard of them – from her home in Sevilla and says Spanish men do it better. I’m not sure what.

María’s Level Ground: 47 & 48: Compassion.

The EU  

A decision in Brussels to add the UK to an EU “white list” of countries whose tourists will be welcome this summer is to be delayed due to concerns over the Covid variant first identified in India. EU diplomats were expected to use a revised threshold of infection cases to extend the list of countries at a meeting yesterday but the decision has been put back by 2 weeks. 

Germany

AEP says there’s real concern about the growing inflation rate which – given the traditional German concern about (obsession with?) this measure –  has ramifications for the direction of the entire EU economic policy. Probably more so for the poorer southern members than the richer northern ones. 

The USA

Some books make you so angry you want to chuck rocks at the bad guys they expose. This book – ‘Empire of Pain’ by Patrick Radden Keefe  – is one of those. It’s an exposé of the Sackler family that allegedly fuelled opioid pain-killer addiction in America and is jaw-dropping. This addiction has killed 500,000, more than died in all the wars the country has fought since 1945, and has cost the country more than $80 billion a year a healthcare and other costs. There’s so much greed and venality that it is hard to know where to begin,

Quotes of the Day:   

1. A young  person: If you find e-bikes an irritating accident waiting to happen, not eco-cool transport, you’re over 40. 

2. A doctor: E-scooters are the adults’ garden trampoline: both keep the hospitals Accident & Emergency department nice and busy.

Finally  . . .

The collared doves seem to be building a nest in my bougainvillea again. So as to avoid scaring them off, I’ve had to lower the blind on a window and lock the door into the garden below the bougainvillea. Which is a bit of a nuisance and I guess I won’t be too pleased if they do breed there this year and keep me awake with their incessant cooing come the dawn.

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