Those more regular readers will know that there are several recurring themes in these few pages of aforementioned piss-pot philosophy, one of the more common being my total lack of understanding of the human race and its failings. Tonight I have been led once again to the point of near explosion by what can only be described as vengeful ignorance. For those not au fait with the whole Spanish Franco period, some background to tonight is warranted: if those that are could please excuse a gross over simplification, I am aware that there is a lot more behind what I have to say, but historical essays were never my forte.
Galician people have never had a very easy time of things. They form a large rural community in the North-West of Spain, and lay claim to one of the most dispersed populations in Europe. It is really common here to find villages in mountains where there are five people or less living in practical solitude and in very rough conditions. Due to living under a fascist dictator, and having survived a very bloody and hard fought civil war, these people underwent some very hard times and have been forced to emigrate all over the world in order to make their livelihood. Those that were able to went to Latin America where they had more or less the same language, those that weren’t went to places like Switzerland, Germany, France or really anywhere they could feasibly get to and where they could work.
These people had even been forced to eat grass as there was nothing else at all else left; they were very poor and often only had the very minimum with them. Perhaps this story is starting to sound a little familiar, perhaps it is already drawing a few parallels?
Memory is a fickle thing. It plays up on us at the most inconvenient of times. Nine am, the children due at the nursery in ten minutes and the car keys just won’t be found. The jewellery that great aunt Gladys bought for Christmas has gone missing and she’s due to arrive any moment now. The fact that people are now coming to richer European countries to look for work because they’ll die otherwise and are prepared to live in appalling conditions here, because even that is better than anything they have at home is comparable to the Galician situation at the start... of... Hang on!
Nobody seems to have reached this conclusion yet: how, escapes me totally. I shall give the explanation I was given tonight.
“Of course you have to remember that none of our relatives went to steal at all. They were all polite, well mannered, humble peasants who would help grandmothers across the street.” PLEASE!!!
My only response was, to say that, though some may come in boats, others stay and get married to family members, though this seemed lost on them all, and I was generally shunned from all proceedings after this. There are uncomfortable truths out there, there are people who rob and steal in every nation, distrust of the unknown everywhere. Tarring with the same brush is supposed to be wrong, even according to the holy books that are rammed down our throats here on a regular basis. Everyone up in arms about Semana Santa, this Romería (religious party with food very common here) in honour of Saint Mary, that Romería in honour of Saint Jehoshaphat etcetera, etcetera ad nauseum. If the book you are supposed to devoutly believe in says something is wrong, then where do you get the idea that what you are saying is justifiable? At least have the courage to admit you have no belief in anything other than money and leave it at that. There are enough topics here for at least three other entries to this blog, though they are probably best suited under another entry. Discuss as you see fit, though any entry that couldn’t be deemed polite or at least informed will be deleted. Let the flaming begin.