Tuesday, October 31, 2006

El Neng

Murton village on the A19 near Sunderland boasts a new shopping centre the Dalton Park retail outlet. And here I am in the centre car park just three days after returning to the U.K. for a short visit. I am looking at a car which displays an icon of what maybe the most famous Spaniard of all. More famous than Don Juan and Don Quixote even!
He is El Neng de Castefa.El Neng is a comic character on the Buenefuente television show which is essential viewing for me, whenever I am in Spain which is most of the time.Neng is one of many funny characters created by very talented people on the show. His appeal to world audience is phenomenal. Every refugee arriving by boat from Senegal knows at least two people in Spain Samuel Eto'o the Barcelona striker and El Neng de Castefa. Buenefuente brought them together. The rest is comic history!
In the first show Neng meets his hero Eto'o and asks him to give Neng’s famous salute when he next scores a goal for Barcelona. When Eto'o kept the promise it made the national news. The second clip picks up where the first finished even if your Spanish is poor you should understand what is happening. (Fading away after his dream had come true he is called by God; in true Neng style he refuses after all there is the Champions league to consider here.)
Two of the better sketches from the show have links to Youtube video clips given here.

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, October 22, 2006

True Grit!

It is 1155am on a warm autumn morning and I have just enough time to deliver my package to Eduardo in the city before the long siesta begins at 1 o’clock. Tomorrow I will be travelling and will not have enough time to meet with up with him.

Starting out on my short journey to Figueres I am immediately faced with a problem, a problem in the shape of my neighbour. Though I have tried to befriend him he seems to have taken an exception to me, and worse still he has even tried to stake a claim to my land.

Our paths cross on an increasingly regular basis and on each of those occasions he stands his ground, forcing me to change direction should I dare to pass him in the calle. Today is no exception, and once again the diminutive one eyed Mexican has fixed me in his gaze. He is the new guy in town; he is determined to make his mark and is certain that he will not allow me to get in his way. The higher ground he occupies gives him another advantage, too far along the camino, I can not go round him I can only face him or retreat.

The Mexican’s smaller stature only serves to emphasise his muscular frame. Even the lameness on his left side does not detract from his confident posture.

I need to pass him for there is no other way out of the pueblo. For what seems like an eternity we are locked in what is rather appropriately known as a Mexican stand-off. I check my watch, it is nearing High Noon.

Only when Margarita calls him away does the unrelenting gaze of his one good eye shift momentarily from me. That moment is enough! And I seize the opportunity, moving towards him purposefully. Margarita calls out to him once more. His one good eye focussed on me as he begrudgingly moved out of my path leaving only just enough room for me to pass.

When I look back I can see that he is heading for my land, maybe he is going to stake a claim!

Ay! Mi Chihuahua!