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Sunday, 16 May 2010


I think I may have the best translation for the word 'pijo' into English. It means a lot of things which could be loosely described as 'posh' or 'stuck up' but the best one would probably be 'poncey'. I realised this whilst giving an English class the other day when my pupil Raul didn't know what a kettle was. I described it and he said 'oh, you mean a tetera?' which is a teapot but could be translated as a baby's bottle, and when I said 'no, it is before the teapot, it is the thing to boil the water to make the tea', he replied 'que pijos sois', or 'what a bunch of ponces you English are'. I was quite flattered.

Later the same day I found myself in one of those bars that seems to be forever the rage in Spain, the dreaded 'retro' bar. This one was modelling itself on a sort of Irish-cum-Spanish bar with mock sepia photos of 'quite a while ago' but calls itself 'Friends International' or something like that, don't want to give them too much free publicity, not that they need it as it is always packed to the Sallies. It is a smoking bar like most in Spain and serves 'tostadas' which may or may not be 'tostados' as I am forever forgetting to memorise words by associating them into something feminine or masculine. I do this a lot with words such as cenicero which I called cenicera for a while until I made it a macho object by remembering it with an image of the Marlboro man. I have doubts whether this method works especially when most Spanish women smoke like bastards. While I was there I found out a friend is off to Hull to do a summer camp or assist on one of these trips the Spanish kids like to do by spending a fortuna and ending up with the family from the infierno. I didn't understand where she was going as she pronounced Hull as in Hooool to which I said 'never 'eard of it'. when I realised what she was saying I said 'ahh, Hull, Prescottlandia! Sorry, I am a ponce from the south'. Yet thinking about it later, even those from Hull wouldn't pronounce it Hooool.

Talking of Prescott, I wouldn't mind naming a doggie after him once I can afford to get one, a dog that is, not the pugnacious politician of the same name. The other names on my list being Hastings or Nelson. I am also impressed with just about every Formula One driver's name. Mr Kobayashi, Mr De La Rosa, Mr Sutil et al sound great names for a book or film.

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