Tuesday, 26 September 2017

SOme thoughts about fuddy-duddery!

According to a Facebook "friend", a Starbucks is opening inside El Corte Inglés in Vigo. He is quite excited about it. He has declared himself "interested" in the grand opening tomorrow. In a country like Spain, where you have the kind of coffee culture that consists of popping into a cafe and drinking a quick coffee at the bar for about €1.80, often with a free piece of cake to accompany it, why do they need Starbucks with its Starbuckets of coffee? Even a so-called small Starbucks coffee is about four times as big as the average coffee in Spain.

I suppose it's all part of the internationalisation / globalisation of everything. They already have Costa Coffee in the airport just across the border from Northern Spain in Porto. There you can get the same odd coffees like caramel latte that you find in every Costa in the UK. You can even get flapjack! Mind you, the Portuguese already like many English things; after all they have the word "queique", pronounced "cake" and meaning - you've guessed it! - "cake". And the "friend" who is so "interested" (a Facebook option for expressing ideas and opinions about stuff) is a bit of a globe trotter so I suppose he already visits Starbucks all over the world.

I refer to him as "friend" (note the inverted commas) because in real life I would probably consider him an acquaintance, just someone I know rather than an actual friend. Our paths crossed socially years back, he found me on Facebook and so we became "friends". This is how people end up with hundreds, or maybe thousands, of "friends". You have to be a little circumspect about who you accept. Indeed, a friend (a real-life one this time) went so far as to ask me questions about someone (a friend and "friend" of mine) who friend-requested her after being involved in one of those discussions that come after posts.

I found myself thinking about all this friend-"friend" business when I read this article about the data collected by Tinder about a young woman who used that dating app. I was not surprised about the data. Every time we order something online, express an opinion on social media or simply post a photo on Facebook, data about is stored away. No, what surprised me was the number of times she says she has used the app.

"At 9.24pm (and one second) on the night of Wednesday 18 December 2013, from the second arrondissement of Paris, I wrote “Hello!” to my first ever Tinder match. Since that day I’ve fired up the app 920 times and matched with 870 different people. I recall a few of them very well: the ones who either became lovers, friends or terrible first dates. I’ve forgotten all the others." That is what she wrote. 870 different people!? In life-before-dating-apps did anyone consider as many as 870 different potential dating partners? I am astounded! I am not sure that I know 870 different people.

This is, of course, further proof of my status as an old fuddy-duddy, following the incident on the bus when Phil and I were told we were bossy old people! If further evidence is needed, I gave in to temptation and completed this vocabulary quiz on Facebook and scored 100% on my understanding of so-called old -fashioned words, such as "jiggery-pokery".

Weirdly, the list included "fortnight". Do some people really not know how many days there are in a fortnight? Or have I become such an old fuddy-duddy that I had not even realised the term had gone out of fashion?

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