27 January 2023

Cosas de España/Galiza

The Spanish use their mobile phones for shopping more than any other Europeans. This possibly has somehting to do with the country’s crazy workday horario.

The Olive Press offers us: ‘Retiring in Spain. The pros and cons of living in a Mediterranean Paradise’. I’m not sure that Galicia qualifies as ‘Mediterranean’ but life is good here. And a lot less hot in summer than down South. And it’s much greener, for reasons I don’t need to go into.

Foreigners now account for c. 10% of the Spanish population of c. 44m. The Romanians used to be number 1 but have probably now been overtaken by Venezuelans fleeing from their benighted country. Here in Galicia there are said to be c. 2,000 Brits, possibly mostly in and around La Coruña – for reasons I don’t understand. Maybe mostly employees of Zara’s parent company, Inditex..

The admirable Mac75 showcases here the annual Vikingfest in nearby Catoira. Por si acaso . . . The RAE defines una Romería – which we seem to have a lot of up here in the “perpetually wet” NW – as:-

1. Viaje o peregrinación, especialmente la que se hace por devoción a un santuario.

2. Fiesta popular que con meriendas, bailes, etc., se celebra en el campo inmediato a alguna ermita o santuario el día  de la festividad religiosa del lugar.

3. Gran número de gente que afluye a un sitio.

I think the Catoira extravaganza classifies as no. 3, there being little religious about it. In truth, more of a bacchanalia than anything else. As you’d expect – with the Atlantic to the West and the Bay of Biscay to the North – many/most of our Romerías seem to involve processions to the water. And boats. Though not from the inland cities, of course.

Quote of the Day

John Crace in The Guardian: If it wasn’t bad enough to have had a prime minister [Guess who] who casually broke his own lockdown rules, we now have to fork out for his legal fees as he tries to lie his way out of trouble. At times like this, you know the country is broken. The government is just taking the piss.

The Way of the World

I endorse this article but object to the last para . . .

Taylor Swift’s cat has a fortune of $97m, acquired through a series of “celebrity cameos” in adverts, appearances on her tours and a successful range of merchandise.


A couple of useful phrases:-

Perder el norte: To lose focus; To lose one’s way; To get lost?

Hacer aguas: To weaken, as with a team.

Did you know?

If you can – one way or another – get British TV, there’s a harrowing documentary on BBC2: How the Holocaust Began.

For new readers:-

1. 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.

2. Should you want to, the easiest way to to get my post routinely is to sign up for email subscription. As opposed to using a Bookmark or entering the URL in your browser.


  1. “Foreigners now account for c. 10% of the Spanish population of c. 44m.”
    I saw some figures a few weeks ago. I am not sure I remember them all exactly. First of all, population is 47 million not 44 million (of that I am sure). No, Venezuelans are not the number one nationality. I think they are now number one among Latams, and Latams are top of the immigration league above Roumanians and Moroccans. But obviously, the 10% figure includes only those who have not acquired Spanish passports, who I wager are not included in the stats as foreigners. Taking into account that many Roumanians, and Moroccans (and others) have already acquired Spanish nationality over the last three decades, and that many Latams already come to Spain with a Spanish (or other European – mainly Italian or German) passport in the bag, that 10% is a massive understatement. I reckon 20% is nearer the reality. And that does not even include illegal residents. I was astonished to read there are now 230 000 Chinese living in Spain. And 70 000 Mexicans ( a nationality not known to take their bags and come to Spain if they could avoid it). And 100 000 Pakistanis. And there is no end in sight to it all.


  2. Yes I saw the 230,000 Chinese figure somewhere. Was very surprised. Then again there are lots of Chinese bazaaars, so it could be true.
    The UK is seeing a huge influx of Hong Kongers in the last 18 months. Expect it to continue.

    I didn’t realise there were 2000 Brits in Galicia. I only know of one. Which suggests I am either anti-social or just completely ignorant of whats going on around me. Probably both.


    • Don’t worry, David. I don’t know many more Brits than your one. And that’s despite setting up an Anglo-Galician Association years ago . . . I suspect there are quite a few now down in the Tui-La Guardia stretch along the Spanish side of the Miño, which has a nice microclimate. There were around none back in the early 2000s, when I first wrote about its attractions.


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