More English, Less Pulpo

I just spent the weekend in Spain. An ex-colleague got married, and I'd never been to a Spanish wedding before. In fact, I'd only spent a few days in Spain, despite living on this side of the Atlantic for about 15 years now. The last time I was there was back in 2003, when I visited Barcelona and Montserrat, two beautiful and very different areas.

This time around I was in Santiago de Compostela. This is in the northwestern area of Spain, Galicia. They don't speak Spanish by default in Galicia, they speak Galician. It doesn't seem that anybody speaks Spanish in Spain. In Barcelona they speak Catalan, in the middle they speak Castellano, and who knows what the Basques speak. It's sort of like China, where you've got Mandarin, Cantonese, and who knows what else. Going to different countries requires a week of studying their Wikipedia pages just to know what to call their savage tongues.

Spain is a beautiful country. As different to the United Kingdom as two neighboring countries could be. Hardly anyone speaks English, for example. They also have a fascination with eating octopuses. In the UK, you'll need to go to secret, back-alley sources for your octopus. In Galicia, every bar and sidewalk food stall seems to offer pulpo at rock-bottom prices. I'm surprised that there are that many pulpo to eat, to be honest. I've always thought that the octopus was at least a little bit exotic; judging by the vast quantities of dead ones that I saw for sale in Spain, I can only assume their shorelines are positively writhing with them. Or maybe there are vast farms of these Cthulhoids, feeding the hunger. Both of these possibilities fill me with loathing, and I don't think I could go swimming in Spain without getting a serious case of the heebie jeebies.











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