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Thursday, 11 February 2010


Yesterday I spoke about hysterics here in Spain but to give them their just desserts I think The Brits are in need of a lambasting too. I witnessed a dilemma today. A clip of Gordon Brown being interviewed by a man known as Piers Morgan. That short clip makes for toe curling viewing and about as promising as an invitation to share a lift with Bob Crow who I believe is the union leader for the Underground. I used to cringe at the antics of David Brent in The Office but I think wince is the word I am searching for now whenever I see any of these, what my father would call, 'orrible bastards. The only use these three have is to act out revenge fantasies.

Maybe revenge fantasies gone wrong cause all the accidents we have here on zebra crossings. I found out today that a friend's husband was run over or knocked over by a lorry on a zebra crossing in town. He is OK and has a few cuts and bruises and the whole episode seems to have a certain jolliness about it which is hard to explain but let's just say people start laughing whenever something like this happens here. I do get concerned by the amount of people I know who have been in car accidents or know of people getting run over. It's like a national sport. The friend added that the road where it happened has 'poco luz' or little light or perhaps a bit dim like most of the drivers it seems.The most 'alucinante' story I read in the local paper involved two blind people getting knocked down on a zebra crossing outside the doctor's and the driver's excuse was he had been 'dazzled' by the sudden light from the sun. Never mind that he was driving south in the evening.

I have mentioned the antics of classes 4A and B as being a bit like something out of Monty Python or The Marx Brothers and I am wondering if I should get them to do The Parrot Sketch especially as they are Aragonese and used to saying 'no it isn't' to everything. Ya veremos. We will see. On the subject of comedy, I am beginning to think that Benny Hill was in cahoots with Franco. When the subject of comedy comes up in any of the adult English classes Benny Hill's name is the first thing that students of a certain age come up with. If you ask them what they think of British humour they often say we are humourless. I suppose we have Benny to thank but it's probably like a lot of knowledge, if you don't have access to it or are not sure where to find it you remain ignorant. In the beginning I would doubt myself until it dawned on me that information or lack of it or lack of interest was often to blame when students would give their version of everything. What's worse is when people are proud to be thick or think reading a newspaper or trying to understand another language is a bit bourgeoise or 'pijo'.

Talking of thick, or maybe it's just selfishness, the subject of Piti is once again on the horizon or should I say bouncing off the walls and entering every dimension. I rang Mercedes and she hung up. I rang her again and she continued to hang up until she managed to switch her mobile off. I left it a few minutes and rang again with the intention of telling her I would call the police if she didn't come home and sort him out. She beat me to it by telling me when she finally answered that she was going to call the police as I was hassling her and ruining her life. There is something amazing about Spanish people. I am not sure if selfish is the word I am looking for or whether if ASBOS existed here 95% of the population would have them. I told her that I would ring the police to which she informed me that she had asked them already and the noise didn't matter so long as it wasn't at night...............................Well, I have been here long enought now to know that aint true and that there is a law that says you can't make noise at any time of the day. More than one policeman told me that and I also spent sometime chatting with a woman from the council and a lawyer on the subject. They all said the same thing, that although this law existed most people didn't have the bollocks to call the police and would rather suffer than pick up the phone or even try to have a word with their neighbours who make noise. Sometimes people don't want to say anything as they don't want to fall out with said neighbour. So, just pretend to be friendly and nothing is the matter then. I told Mercedes that I had all the info and that her dog couldn't go on howling at the moon like this but she carried on telling me that I was wrong and she was right. I told her I was ill, she told me she was ill. I told her I didn't have to put up with this dog and she told me that she didn't have to put up with me complaining about the dog and ringing her up and I guess wasting her wonderful time because of course, my life doesn't matter, or at least that is how you might feel when something like this happens. Make of this what you will but never ask anyone here for directions or what time it is 'cos you will be wasting their wonderful time so imagine asking them to please pipe down for a bit. Suffice to say you have to either shut up and put up or make their life more miserable than your own to get anything done. This is hard for a Brit who isn't anti-social and has a certain 'decentness' about them. Of course 'decentness' is not an English virtue but I see little of it here and Spanish people agree with me when I touch on this subject. Until you have lived abroad for a while and had the experience you just end up sounding like a whinging POM to all. Henderson just thinks he is a missionary.

Well, glad I got that off my chest. If I have learnt anything it is that Aragonese stubborness versus Boadicean tenacity makes for interesting Sunday afternoons, and also, just because I have chosen to live here doesn't mean I have to become timorous and lose the old moral fibre. Especially over a dog.


mike the trike said...

Check with Colin about barking dogs. Also check out this site.

ANA said...

Hello. Piti doesn't really bark, he howls for hours without a pause. Well, I would say there is a gap of about ten seconds between each howl and it gets louder. I cannot underestimate the noise and yet no one seems to do anything here. The other neighbour says he can't wait for Mercedes to go away in April/May which she does every year to go to her other village and do everyone's head in there I suppose.I will check out those sites so thanks for that.

mike the trike said...

Oh yes the howling dog! A dog that is left by itself spending the day crying (howling) because it is lonely. We suffered that with neighbours in England who kept a dog and both went out to work and left the dog by itself all day. After three years they sold up and moved somewhere else. You can't reason with people like that. I made a 90 minute tape of the dog's howling and played it to them. Waste of time. So you have my sympathies with your plight especially as we live in Spain.