28 July 2022: Changing Spain; Rapacious dentists; Tourist moans; Russian casualties?; The USA: good and bad; & other stuff.

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable
Christopher Howse: ‘A Pilgrim in Spain’

Life in Spain 

Lenox  Napier of Business Over Tapas writes of a young foreigner – him – who many years ago was told off for leaving his shredded servilleta on the bar. You are meant to throw it on the floor, mimed the outraged bar-keeper. Now – adds Lenox – all these years later there’s a €120 fine for throwing one’s servilleta (or, indeed, one’s shrimp heads) on the floor of Almería’s outside-terraces. 

Another thing that’s changed here in the last 20+ years is dental practice. Offhand, I can name 5 private practices which have cropped up in the ‘high street’ in the last 5 years, evidencing increasing wealth. Especially among dentists. Who are famous for charging what they can get away with by taking advantage of you sitting captive and in urgent need of ‘essential’ treatment. There is dental insurance available here but it seems to cover less and less. And fewer and fewer dentists are willing to work with insurance companies. One who is so disposed gave me last month an estimate for work I later had done by a dentist friend for considerably less. Yesterday – to my astonishment – I received a bill for said estimate. Since when did one have to pay for these? But, TBH, I find it hard to be tough on dentists, given what they spend their days doing. They’re said to suffer a high rate of suicide but this might be a myth.

On the subject of changing Spain . . . After a neighbour complained (via a denuncia or 5?) 2 couples in Granada have been fined €12,000 for the loud and incessant barking of their dogs  

Cosas de España/Galiza 

More on proving your worth as a would-be entrant: Your credit card(s) must be accompanied by bank account statements or an updated bank book. I have no idea what this means but letters from banks or internet bank statements will not be accepted. So, good luck with all that.

Maria’s Beginning Over 22: Tourists. A funny tale or two here.


The USA estimates that Russia has suffered 75,000 casualties in the Ukraine war so far. This would mean approximately half the number of Russian troops committed to the war have been killed or injured. Seems high. Certainly ‘highly speculative’.


No great surprise . . .  Assault rifles marketed as a way for young men to “prove their manliness” have made $1 billion for leading gun manufacturers over the past decade. According to a report for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, some of the advertising made veiled references to white supremacy groups.

The Way of the World  

The most beautiful country on earth is . . . The USA. It says here. Where the other 9 contenders are cited.


Birmania: Myanmar. Or Burma, as it used to be called in English. Change is slower in Spain. And countries’ names are always still hispanicised.

Cofia: Cap; Coif; Bonnet

Finally  . . .

To amuse . . .  

But probably not in Spain, where bare breast are popular. Among women, I mean.

For new readers: 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.