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Friday, 12 September 2008

So Gorbachev, for it was he, came and went and in the meantime got stuck in a lift with our mayor Fernado Elboj. Witnesses claim the mayor, who thinks he is a socialist, had a face of pure 'lirismo' which we can safely assume means his dreams, 'humidos' or otherwise, came true that day. There are lots of words in the Spanish language which don't seem to translate well into English. The above reminds me of the day I let rip in the doctor's surgery after being accused of pushing in. When told not to get so angry I responded with 'I'm not angry, I am 'livido', thinking this meant I was furious but found out later it means I am of a pale complexion or colouring. I have no idea if this is true as people make things up here as they go along. The meaning of livido, not my hue.

While we are on the subject of bad translations, misunderstandings and general confusion, I am still trying to work out why the vending machine on my road is called '25 HOURS'. Round the corner I came across an advert for classes with those perforated strips you can pull off with the person's number on if you are interested but someone had stuck said advert on the inside of their window. Very convenient.There are loads of things like this all over town. The street sign put on upside down. The men taking the NO PARKING sign down. One of them dismantling it and looking over his shoulder furtively while his comrade helped support him on some railings they were using as a makeshift ladder. Later I saw the sign tossed aside near the rubbish bins. Around that time a friend parked her car legally and when she went back the next day the council or someone had put signs on either side of the car to say you could not park there and had given her a fine. Then the house with the number six stuck on the door but back to front......have you got an hour?

One thing you won't find here is a tabloid press. There is no equivalent of the Daily Mail to make you feel more depressed and that it's all gonna meltdown. Instead, there are if you can be bothered, programmes throughout the day but mainly in the afternoon which tell you of the awful goings on or going ons here which sometimes try to recreate the saga of the day. They vary and one that sticks in my mind is the sad tale of someone who left the handbrake off ( that phrase sounds like they did it on purpose...) while the car was parked on a steep road only to see it momentos later hurtling downhill and crushing a woman against a tree. I always wonder at the reconstructions they do of thse ghastly events. There was a mild earthquake and the reporters went to the scene as soon as they could and while they were there they pushed someone's lamp to and fro and then told us 'this is what it was like at the moment the earthquake hit...'

But my favourite has to be the 'poligrafo', the lie detector programme. I sometimes think I may have dreamt it up. ' That's right, he didn't meet Liza Minelli or Frank Sinatra, he didn't sing with Bob Marley and, he is NOT the father of Maria Teresa Campus!'

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