There’s an old (1949) British comedy film in which Pimlico, a part of London, becomes the Duchy of Burgundy practically overnight with all the complications that this entails – the kind of complications that Carles Puidgemont, the Catalan ex-president, should have foreseen before he unilaterally declared independence from Spain.
On Tuesday evening the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont declared unilateral independence from Spain – only to suspend said independence in the same breath, the same sentence. This has to be some sort of a record; according to Wikipedia, the next shortest lived sovereign state lasted a full 6 hours.
El martes por la tarde el presidente catalán, Carles Puidgemont declaró la independencia unilateral de Cataluña de España – sólo para suspender dicho independencia con el mismo aliento, en la misma frase. Es una especie de marca; según Wikipedia, el segundo más corto estado soberano duró un total de 6 horas.
Have you ever seen somebody from a distance and sussed their nationality at first glance, without even having heard them speak – because they looked so stereotypical?
(All right, excluding Japanese tourists.)
Well, we did, last Sunday.
¿Has visto alguna vez a alguien de la distancia y adivinado de dónde es, a la primera vista, sin que lo has oído hablar – porque se parecía tan estereotípico?
(Bueno, excluyendo a los turistas japoneses.)
Pues, eso es exactamente lo que nos pasó el domingo pasado.
In 2014, as the issue of Catalan independence heated up, Joan Planas, a Catalan film-maker and photographer decided to travel around Spain to talk to people in bars and find out what they thought about Spain, the Catalans and other topics. The resulting book, España desde el bar (Spain from the Bar) was published in April and is well worth the reading – if you can read Spanish, that is, as it has not been translated into English.
A hundred interview subjects, a hundred differing opinions from all over Spain on Catalan independence and half a dozen other current topics, from bull-fighting to corruption.
This is easily the unlikeliest entry that I could ever have dreamed of writing: it’s about a book that I haven’t read yet, a book that hasn’t even been published yet.