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Thursday, 7 June 2012

PUT IT ABOUT

Spanish children cringe at the idea of wearing a uniform. They tell you it takes away your individuality, your freedom to express yourself, to choose your own clothes. The only time I see people wearing the same thing in Spain is perhaps those couples in immaculate Barbours or groups of people in the same coloured T-shirts emblazoned with some group they belong to. Then there is the uniformity of the big fiestas where everyone is in white with a coloured neckerchief pouring wine over their head.

While I am writing this someone outside is screaming his head off. No one seems to mind. He might be getting murdered but even I can't be bothered to rush to the window every time screams and shouts are heard. Having been encouraged from an early age to make as much noise as he likes the average Spaniard will think nothing of waking you up in the early hours serenading you with a Jota or two. Parents will often look on in glee as their little one smashes up whatever is lying around the bar or cafe. Tourists especially Brits will look on and say 'How lovely. Spanish children are so loved, no one minds them making noise', until the Spanish parent snaps and shrieks at the kid to put a sock in it. Years later the child grows into the kind of adult who at four in the morning kicks every wing mirror off all the parked cars in the street shouting 'they love me, they love me not' moving on to the next vehicle once said mirror hangs limply to the side. Yet at least you can walk down the street at four in the morning on your own and know the chap won't lunge at you or start an argument. It is rare that a Spaniard will get into a fight, preferring to hug and kiss you instead. They don't have that warlike savagery that many Brits and Irish have after a few bevvies.They don't shag pavements or prostitutes in the street either, having tons of puti clubs to service their needs. 

Ah, the word puta and the diminutive puti. Almost held in affection. Most Spanish children will know what a prostitute is and this word brings great mirth especially when they learn English. There is a well known local case of a Spanish teacher who taught English who refused to say the words 'put on' when referring to 'putting on' clothes as it made the kids crack up every time he said them. The other day an eight year old kid told me that what I had just said sounded like the word puta. All I had said was 'put a saucepan on his head' as that was part of the crazy story we were reading. Even the word computer gets them rolling in the aisles. A parent recently told me that their child was counting in the back of the car as they sped along the motorway. When she asked what they were counting the little darling replied 'puti clubs'.

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