7 May 2022: Tipping in Spain; City ages; Slippery quays; Swedish woes; & Other stuff

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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’

Cosas de España/Galiza 

It’s commonly said that the Spanish don’t tip. Or, more accurately I suspect, that they only leave bits of loose change – in amounts which would be considered derisory in other countries. But, then, the standard UK tip of 10% is considered derisory in the USA. Anyway, I’ve always tipped here, for these reasons:-

– Spanish serving staff are nearly always excellent

– They work long, hard hours 

– Many of them are laid off at the end of the tourist season

– I’ve worked as a waiter and a barman and sympathise with them

– At least in my regular watering holes, Spanish serving staff are very good at reciprocating, one way or another. It’s not all one-way. I’m not totally altruistic.

Here’s where you can find the age of the oldest city in your province.

It won’t go down well in snobby Pontevedra city that its (much larger) urban rival, Vigo, has a longer pedigree. Researching the name Vigo, I came up with:-

– It is generally accepted that the name Vigo is derived from the Latin ‘vicus spacorum’, meaning “small village”. (Wiki)

– El Vigo romano se llamaba Burbida, and 

– El nombre de Vigo es vikingo – Vigoé – y significa ‘bahía’

Take your pick.

It doesn’t only rain on the plain in Spain.

As a local paper said yesterday, it’s not uncommon to see reports of cars which have slid off Galician quays into the sea. This one still had a couple in it but, for some reason, they’d neglected to put the handbrake on. Possibly distracted . . .


Yesterday’s citation of Sweden was (relatively) positive.Today’s is decidedly negative.

The article reminded me of what I’ve been told about by Dutch friends and read about in the chapter on immigrants in Ben Coates’ book Why the Dutch are Different – entitled Mosques on the Maas: Immigration, Islam and Murder.

The Way of the World 

Reading bits of Orwell yesterday, I got to wondering if there was any social commentator today who could write as lucidly and as accurately as he did. As of this morning, I don’t anymore. Here the excellent Kathleen Stock skewers the ‘LGBTQ+ community’. This, she says is a label which might suggest a cohesive group with genuinely shared interests, if not some sort of glittery high-camp version of the Bruderhof, but in fact the term is a shiny carapace shielding the eyes of straight people from big underlying divisions.

Birthing body: One of the hilarious new alternatives for ‘woman’.


Cis-het: I’m not entirely sure but suspect this is a gender category long known as ‘normal’, as opposed to one of the 100+ new ones. I imagine ‘het’ stands for heterosexual.

Four more unusual words:-

Hypnopedia: The process of learning while asleep (e.g. by listening to a recording)

Girouettism: The practice of frequently altering personal opinions to follow popular trends

Panchreston: A broadly inclusive thesis that purports to cover all aspects of its subject but usually ends up as an unacceptable oversimplification

Grangousier: One who will swallow anything

Finally . . .

Orwell wrote about Poltergeists in the early 1940s and they were a regular media feature in my youth. Does anyone believe they really exist these days?

To amuse:-

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.

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