• West Cork Literary Festival 8-15 July 2022

Speaking as you Find by Poraic Cahill

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Odd Life

Poraic Cahill

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I was talking with José Mari in my pidgin Spanish last Saturday evening about the difficulties of learning Basque, such as the different verb declensions of the language, which are particularly puzzling. Later that evening while talking to Cristina in Bar Taosa, she complimented me on my improvement in Spanish since I arrived in Zumaia two years ago. Although a lot people here will speak English with me, they appreciate when you try to speak in a language more familiar to them and are particularly praiseworthy when you attempt a few words in Basque.

However, I’m careful not to overdo this and when in the local I usually sit back and listen to lads & lasses speak away rather than interrupt them. There is always a danger of praise turning quickly to ridicule and I came across such an example the other week while reading about the leader of Partido Popular, Pablo Casado’s recent visit to a farm in Ávila. There, Pablo praised Spanish livestock farming by saying Spanish meat was the best in the world, and upbraided the Consumer Minister, Alberto Garzon, for his views on farming -Garzon had said that intensive livestock farming (keeping livestock in a compact space to maximise output) produced bad quality meat and also polluted the ground & water. Garzon asserted that extensive livestock farming (keeping livestock in wider spaces) was as a more sustainable method of farming. Casado countered Garzon’s argument by saying that intensive livestock farming does not pollute because those farms are highly technological and take advantage of animal waste to make biofuels.

The following day, however, Pablo’s appearance on the farm was widely ridiculed by many of the daily newspapers as pictures clearly show that the farm he was on – arguing in favour of intensive livestock farming – was an extensive livestock one.

I suppose if there is a lesson here for Pablo it is the next time he is going to give his two cents worth, it’ll have more value should he take heed of what is around him; or alternatively as Fletcher -a character from the 1970’s British comedy ‘Porridge’- once plainly put it, “when in Rome, speak Italian”.

(c) Poraic Cahill

About Odd Life:

From a German man accusing his ex-girlfriend of attempted murder by use of her 38DD breasts, to a 107 year old having a shoot-out with the Arkansas SWAT police, the author Poraic Cahill chronicles the strange & bizarre he encounters in Odd Life.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Poraic Cahill was born in 1976 in Dublin. He has worked as a Gardener, Butcher’s Assistant, Barman, Administrator, Secondary School Teacher, Writer and when last heard of was teaching English in the Basque Country.

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