Posted by: puebloman | November 25, 2009

Fishy business 4

We are in our weekly Spanish class and have been given an article on professional football, high fees to top footballers and the lack of women executives to read and discuss. I have suggested that any game that can be played by trained dogs isn’t worth discussing.

La profesora: Well John, you don’t like football. Do you like any sports?

Me: Yes fishing, but I can’t get a licence. (I rave on about fishing being the same as hunting in Andalucia, needing to get insurance, needing to take a test – see Fishy business 1, 2 and 3).

The Lake Vinuela ex pat campo sub group look at each other blankly. Eventually the teacher interrupts me by putting up her hand. She usually works with children.

She: No. That’s not what you do. All my friends go fishing. My family too. No one has a licence. You fish, when a policeman comes along, you run away.

(The Lake Vinuela ex pat campo sub group bristle at this “lawlessness”).

Me: But I don’t want to run away. Fishing is supposed to be peaceful.

She: OK don’t run away. Just stay there. Here is your rod. (she mimes). You are here, having a cigarette (she mimes). You don’t smoke? OK! You just sit here. Now, if a policeman came along(she takes the opportunity to re-explore the imperfect subjunctive. i.e. “were a policeman to arrive” and so on . .)

Me: Yes but I’d get fined and my rod taken away (she is putting up her hand)

She: It’s not your rod The Lake Vinuela ex pat campo sub group bristle with indigation

“Well officer – here’s a rod and here’s me sitting behind it!

Who’s rod? You can’t take that away, you don’t know who it belongs to!”

(we discuss whether “to whom it may belong” throws us into the arms of the subjunctive. Of course it does.)

She: Pretend to be a foreigner! the best is to “Tocarse las narices (We discuss the idiomatic expression “to do bugger all”)

Me: But its so un-English!

She: But here you are in Spain!



  1. Wow, I thought it was a pain in the arse getting fishing licences in Catalunya! Seriously, the same as hunting? I wonder, just how many dogs, cats, sparrows, random passers by etc have been killed or maimed by a fishing rod in Andalucia?


    • I know, I know Wendy – don’t get me started!!


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