My Spanish is still very weak and will remain so for some time but I was perusing the local newspaper rag this evening when I chanced upon the personals column. Not something you want to be seen reading when you're in a public space I suppose but given the fact I didn't know what anyone who happens to be looking over my shoulder might be saying or thinking I didn't much care.
There's a female student, somewhere local, staying in an apartment and looking for free secks (I have to mispell owing to the officious nature of firewalls in certain company premises). Maybe something's gone west in translation but I'm finding it hard to interpret 'busco se_x_o gratis' any other way. Sounds like a game girl then.
It's an odd country.
I've noticed, and indeed commented on, a refreshing lack of political correctness and state nannying around these parts. It's great. But I can't help thinking something's not right. There's no apparent watershed when it comes to news items. It's not unusual to see se_x stories (sorry again) plastered all over the early morning telly coverage, nor is it a shock to see scenes of horrible violence interspersed with light hearted stories of oddball characters or cats stuck up trees on the early evening news magazine shows.
You can flick through the terrestrial tv channels and jump between soft porn ( very soft) and kiddies cartoons. Many would say 'so what?' and I've no real comment to make other than, well, it just seems a bit odd.
There's a catholic culture here that seems to permeate society - but it's purely cultural and not in the least bit religious. They're very conservative on the one hand yet they seem so lax and liberal in many other ways. They have their festivals and processions but none if it seems to be about what these things were originally about. It kind of looks to me like how morris dancing in England must look to foreigners or how quaint the behaviour of druids at Stonehenge looks (ok I know there are probably loads of druids who are deadly serious about their activities) but even so.
For those north of the border I suppose it's akin to the differences between catholic and protestant communities and how, even now, some people would still have you believe it's about the finer points of Christian religious doctrine when we all know it's merely a lazy, tired old cultural hangover from olden days that seems worth perpetuating somehow.
It's as if a particular face is shown, and has to be shown, to the rest of the world while the country just gets on with being - well, itself I supopose.
This is Spain. I don't really think they care whether you get it or not. And that's the bit I like. They don't really care what people like me think. I'll keep trying to understand though I may steer clear of the personal ads for the time being.