Yesterday evening we once again sat outside La Porchaba, having once again managed to time things exactly right to find a table free, sipping glasses of Rioja and eating garlic mushrooms, reflecting on how pleasant it is to be able to do just that. Life definitely seems to run at a different pace here. This may, of course, be because we do not have any pressure to get up and rush off to work every morning but I’m not entirely convinced that that is the whole story.
In yesterday’s paper I found an item about television with the title “El Porno, prohibido en la television”. Reading the article, it became clear that what they were talking about was gratuitous violence and pornographic content in series, films, TV programmes in general; such scenes will be banned by law from now on. It went on to say that content considered harmful to children would be banned until after 10 o’ clock in the evening. I seem to remember all of that being dealt with years ago in the UK.
It is significant though that the watershed is an hour later here than in the UK. Children here stay up later. People finish work later and eat later in the evening so it’s only to be expected that children are around that bit longer. Some Irish friends of ours were commenting that it is quite hard for their children to really get to know other children in the block as they want their 5 and 7 year olds to be tucked up in bed by 8.30 (and they think that’s rather late) whereas many of the other children in our block are just going outside to play at that time. And it’s true that as the evenings grow longer you hear them out there progressively later and later.
Another thing mentioned in the newspaper article was advertising. This wonderful aspect of modern life is being limited to 20 minutes per hour. Yes, that’s TWENTY minutes per hour!!!! They were thinking of a limit of 29 minutes per hour. Imagine almost 50% adverts. Already there are occasions when you have to sit through about 10 minutes of continual adverts before a television programme begins. What I really like are the series that begin with a recap (“ previously in …”) and then have five minutes of adverts before they even show the opening credits. Oh, thank heavens for the BBC.
Getting back to sitting outside La Porchaba yesterday, we witnessed the first example of road rage that we have seen in this country. No doubt it happens but it does seem less prevalent than in the UK. Some say that all the pipping of the horn releases the tension and obviates the need for road rage. Be that as it may, we saw someone screech to a halt as he came out of Calle Oporto because the driver on Rosalía de Castro did not immediately stop to give way to him. Giving way on what appears to be a major road to traffic coming in from the right from what looks like a minor road has always seemed a silly idea to me.
Anyway, both cars stopped, no collision occurred and both cars were pipping away. The aggrieved driver from Calle Oporto wound his window down and gave the other driver considerable earache. He then opened his door, stepped out, went over to the other car and wrenched the passenger door open so that he could shout more directly at the driver. Lots of verbal abuse ensued and everyone stopped drinking to watch with interest. However, it all came to nothing, no actual violence took place, the driver returned to his vehicle and both cars went on their way. And some people wonder why I don’t want to drive in Vigo!!
This morning’s paper had the usual reports of accidents, a large number of them fatal. Here is a link to a map which shows the location of fatal accidents in Galicia in 2010 so far. Rather a lot of them!
Interestingly enough there are still reports of deaths that could have been avoided had the people in the car been wearing their seat belts!!! And then there are the drivers who have an excessive amount of alcohol in their blood steam!
Time to use those 20 minutes per hour of advertising space to good effect if you ask me!