Malaga 17

Let me just start of by correcting a horrible omission from my last two entries, which have taken me away from my occasional pertinent comment on the society in which I am meant to be immersing myself and turned into the binge drinker’s guide to being a twat.

There has actually been a lot going on in Spain; with the election a couple of weeks ago, a young people protest known as ‘Spanish Revolution’ has sprung up all over the country against the usual things young people protest about; corruption in politics, the tyranny of the police, the scandalously high prices of weed – it got slightly nasty in Madrid and although it was not exactly May ’68 or Tiananmen square it did put a slight damper on the build up to the election. For the record, in Malaga ‘Spanish revolution’ were on their best behaviour; they set up a commune in the town square and protested their little hearts out about a range of stereotypically diffuse and vague problems inherent in Spanish government and people ignored them; as of yet they do not have a major role to play in the political landscape of this part of Spain which, in light of their horrific financial situation (the ever wise and observant BBC predicts that one of the Iberian peninsula countries will be the next to need an EU bailout) has polarised towards the right as people lose patience with government borrowing to support a welfare system which they think should not be a priority.

It is a bit like Britain, except Zapatero’s popularity makes Gordon Brown look like Santa Claus, which meant that, not only was he crushed by the centre-right ‘Partido Popular’ (especially here in Andalucia where the few politically minded people in my acquaintance consider Zapatero to be the worst leader since Franco) but also, interestingly as a Scotsman becoming increasingly intrigued by the prospect of a Nationalist government, lost ground to Nationalist parties in Catalunya (which is barely even news, if they could they would elect Xavi Hernandez as president but he gets paid more to play football,) and, more significantly, in the Basque country where the Basque Nationalist party (who, according to certain not-one-hundred percent-reliable sources, have links to ETA) won the region in a shock.

The protests redoubled last week as the Spanish army put on an air show at which, rumour has it, the king was in attendance to watch the might of the six planes and one defunct aircraft carrier his country still has not pawned to pay the EU back. Needless to say this was prime right-wing, establishment meat for the hippy-ish and increasingly bored ‘Spanish Revolution’ members to feast on and they suddenly appeared marching in astonishing numbers in the centre of town and from all areas of society this time, even being  joined by the Spongebob and Patrick who normally only take part in the kiddies’ parades and, still more shockingly, a few people who looked like they actually owned a shower.

Anyway I hope that satisfies any lingering curiosity about what has been happening in Spain apart from my own debauched existence. The election, needless to say, has already been long forgotten in Malaga and replaced with the equally important news that Ruud Van Nistelrooy, the legendary Dutch footballer, is going to be spending the last part of his Indian summer with the resurgent Malaga team after their rise from the lower reaches of La Liga to respectable mid-table at the end of the season. It might seem like more of my exaggerated rambling to suggest that football here takes equal billing with things that actually matter but there were easily as many people outside Malaga’s training ground when the signing was announced as there ever were in the ‘Spanish Revolution’ camp during the election. There has also been some celebration that Rafael Nadal is still good at tennis but even the Spaniards are starting to suffer from a little euphoria-fatigue and not bothering to argue that he should maybe give someone else a shot of winning for once.

But enough of that, with exams once again zooming in like a sniper-scope aiming at my face I have spent some time on revision, although this has often been limited to correcting my, at times degenerate, efforts at making lecture notes from the start of term on the beach, the consolation being that I have at least definitely improved since then into someone who may be considered generate (is that the opposite of degenerate? If not let us just say that I invented it right now,) in the Spanish language. My half a week of clean living coincided with a burst of good rugby form which means that I am still in contention to represent Andalucia (under the guise of Malaga so we still get to wear our cool purple, green and white tops) at the Spanish national sevens championship in ‘Madrid’ (or the distant outskirts thereof) next week although I am now one of only four people in the squad who has never played internationally at some level or in the Argentine premiership so I have to basically break myself every session not to look out of my depth, no mean feat in a thirty-two degree furnace but a great challenge and even if I do not get picked to go to Madrid, I will have the opportunity to play in a ‘Beach Rugby’ competition which should be a fun new experience as long as my feet do not melt on the sand.

Cool cool, well I am going to leave it there for this week as I imagine all you lovely people are sick of hearing stories about drinking and being a silly sausage! I know I am…

More profound musings in a week.

Gregor

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