Monday, 11 August 2014

Sunshine and showers and stuff.

I look at pictures on the Guardian website of people crossing the Millennium Bridge in London in torrential rain and feel very glad that Hurricane Bertha (I am told she is to blame for the all the rain over the last few day.) seems to have moved on and we have the sunshine back again here in Pontevedra. I hope the UK doesn't suffer too badly from storms and such. 

It's nice to see that blue sky again.

Although rain stopped festivities to some extent here, people still continued to have fun and the newspapers report large numbers of people ending up in A&E after having drunk too much on Saturday evening. Sunday night saw fewer people out and about but we still saw groups of young people sitting around their boxes of pizza and bottles of whatever it was they were going to drink. I wonder how soon there will be the kind of notices you see around university halls of residence areas in the UK telling people that it is forbidden to drink alcohol on the streets. 

The other evening we walked through the funfair that has been set up on the Alameda. Loud and bright, it reminds me of the travelling funfairs that used to set up in the summer at the end of our street when I was a child. The one here is very extensive with, in addition to dangerous looking rides, huge areas of stalls selling clothes, leather goods, mobile phone accessories and goodness only knows what else. Who goes out for the evening and buys skirts, dresses and other items of clothing? How do you take a look at the quality of the leather bag you might fancy buying at 11.30 at night under the garish lighting of a funfair? Very odd! 

Today's papers are full of pictures of young ladies dressed in virginal white. On Saturday evening they had the Baile de la Peregrina, a big social event where young ladies are presented to society by their proud fathers. This year there were 14 debutantes, sixteen year olds, presumably from the best families in town! For me it's a kind of step back in time to when my Spanish teacher back in the girls' grammar school I attended would ask if we were old enough to put our hair up when one or other of arrived with such a "grown up" hairdo. 

 I wonder if these very respectable young ladies go out on other occasions to botellón, eating and drinking on the streets around the basílica and the Cinco Calles, where apparently they usually congregate. 

The charanga bands are back on the streets today, or at any rate one of them playing loudly and enthusiastically, if a little out of tune! 

We went to the Froiz supermarket earlier today. Bought water and fruit. Then we decided we needed to go upstairs to look for a new memory stick for Phil. As we paid for it, I said to the cashier that we didn't need a bag as we already had one. So she asked to see the receipt for the goods we had bought in the food section. Okay, maybe we do look like thieves, after all. 

Before that I had been amused to listen to a conversation between a customer and the cashier. She gave him a five euro note in his change. I think it was a new one and he wanted her to change it for an old one as he "trusted" it more!!! Ideally, he said, he would prefer coins because you can trust coins far more than paper money. Well, I suppose paper money can be forged but it was a matter of FIVE euros!!!! I wonder if he ever uses his bank card. As a rule, you see far more people paying cash here than buying with cards, although slowly I am seeing more people using their plastic. Still nothing like the number who use plastic for just about everything in the UK. Sometimes this country is very odd! 

With that, I am going to gather up my stuff and head for the big pool later. Today I am determined to swim!

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