Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I'm sorry but I've been reading again. La familia de Pascual Duarte this time. In it, at one point, the "hero" of the book is wondering about taking a steamer to America. He has to queue. When he finally gets to the front the clerk gives him a list of prices and sailing times. He complains that that isn't what he wanted. He wanted a conversation about the possibilities. To my mind this is a real difference between we Brits and the Spanish. We like to read our information and Spaniards like to talk to someone to get theirs.

With a bit of a push from me, and despite a little opposition, the village now has a couple of WhatsApp groups. I wanted one group but some little territorial dispute apparently made that impossible. So we now have a quick, effective, cheap, reasonably inclusive and only slightly confusing channel for sharing information. It's not helped much though. We had an outdoor film in the village last Friday. Nobody seemed to know what film we were going to see till it started. And on Monday I found out that I should have booked up for the fiesta meal last Friday.

I'm sure that it's just the reading and talking thing and nothing to do with that old Knowledge is power chestnut.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Chris,
I see you're still talking about Spaniards as ignorant people. It's amusing to read what you think about all of us, all the same illiterate beasts. 😊
So sad if you end not knowing anyone capable and willing to read at least some basic information.

Chris Thompson said...

Hello again. Nice to know you're still there. Maybe my English isn't particularly clear. I didn't say that anyone was ignorant or unable to read or didn't read. I did say that, in my experience and presumably in the experience of Camilo José Cela, Spanish people seem to prefer to obtain their information through talking.

Anonymous said...

Camilo Jose Cela and Miguel Delibes! Haven't you read "Los Santos Inocentes" yet? Wonderful wonderful book about that Spain you insist to take for the current one.

Chris Thompson said...

Hi Mr Anonymous: I've just finished my latest book and I'm looking for something to read. You have expressed views on Spanish authors. Do you have any suggestions? It can't be anything too dense Los santos inocentes - which I tried to read ages ago - was far too intricate for me, I gave up on Diario de un cazador and Rayuela (?) too.