Reuters is reporting that Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is using the APEC summit in Bangkok to pig herself on a favourite childhood delicacy:
In May last year, Thailand used the fruit known as the “skunk of the orchards” to cement relations with Arroyo.
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra threw a special “durian buffet” for her, offering an array of delicacies that included three types of Thai durian, durian-stuffed moon cakes and durian ice cream.
Because of its powerful aroma — some people say it smells like rotting fruit in a blocked drain — eating durian is banned from hotels, public places and on buses, trains and planes across southeast Asia.
Our local crime novelist, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, also died in Bangkok this weekend, apparently (and in my view unfortunately) in an airport lounge instead of a brothel. His Carvalho novels are actually rather good although, perhaps understandably for someone born here in 1939, his politics remained stuck in a banally moronic Stalinist groove. The old man up in the Eixample who wears a ¡Viva Stalin! cap on holidays doesn’t worry me because the Spanish Communists have, by and large, kept to Santiago Carrillo’s mid-70s revisionist line. It was even more difficult to take totalitarian clichés terribly seriously when spouted by a tubby little balding petit-bourgeois with such an ostentatious affection for cigars and the odd colguel.
You can obtain Joaquim Pomares’ fine Diccionari del Catala Popular i d’Argot here in Barcelona for the modest price of EUR9.00: As far as I know there’s no translation of Montalbán’s The Birds of Bangkok, but Murder in the Central Committee isn’t bad:
- Fucked translation, the consequence of a strategic choice by the Spanish authorities?
My man in the education department of the Generalitat de Catalunya this lengthy lunchtime: “Why the fuck would we teach them
- Public brothel in Barcelona
The public brothel opened in Cañet street in 1452 by Simon Sala with a licence from the king (see today’s front
- Stalin’s organ works
But all its pipes are the same length, so it only plays one note. Plus totalitarian musical dogs and terror management
- The green of the louse/Lo verde del piojo
An etymological hop from kite-flying with Juan Marsé back to Concha Piquer’s greatest hit.
- Cuban cocks
I haven’t seen cockfighting in Spain, but to judge by this report there’s still a fair amount of it about. Here,