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Asturias/America: Mentalities - mentalidades

 
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Art
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Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Asturias/America: Mentalities - mentalidades Reply with quote

In another thread: http://www.asturianus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=17050#17050
Is (Paul) raised an interesting question of different mentalities between Americans and Asturians.
Is wrote:
Sadly, the stodgy bureaucratic machine that is in charge of tourism promotion in Asturias can't deliver. I don't know if it's ignorance or lack of marketing skills. Tourism in Asturias is entirely focused on visitors from Madrid. It may sound odd to the rest of the world, but such is the mentality there.

And speaking of mentality, many of us are nominally Asturian (Art, Bob and myself included). But we lack Asturian mentality for things like these. I realized at the Asturian pavilion in Lorient that mentality is its own animal, aside from the love one may have for Asturian culture and the place itself. Meeting halfway would be constructive.



That's an interesting thought about mentality being different. A mentality may be something that's hard to learn.

For example, this summer I was pleased to meet someone who does much of their own home construction and likes building things for fun. That's a very "American" mentality.

Something else that often strikes me is that I keep meeting very intelligent, well-informed people in Asturias. I met plenty of average people, too, but was impressed by the intelligentsia. I suspect that they were the cream of the crop of Asturias, and wondered why my experience of Asturias and the US is so different.

One clear difference is that I've moved away from living with the intelligentsia in the US. It's just not my social circle here because I'm no longer involved in higher education and because I now live in the suburbs. The American intelligentsia probably gravitate more to the big cities and to jobs in academia.

But maybe there's something else at work here. In Asturias there are only about a million people, so it's possible to know others who are specialists in any particular field. In contrast, there are over a half million people living in my little county (consejo) and there are 2.7 million people in the Baltimore metropolitan area and we're not a huge city.

I've always been impressed that Mafalda knows so many of the people from Arnao. Today I realized why that's possible. My little hometown had a population of 7500 in 2000 and Pasadena, MD, the suburb I live in now, had about 12,600 residents. Arnao had about 200 in 2004 (if I'm reading this correctly: http://tematico8.asturias.es/export/sites/default/consumo/sanidadAmbiental/sanidad-ambiental-documentos/AIII/Castrillon.pdf). My county (Anne Arundel) had about 518,000 in 2008, Mafalda's (Castrillón) had 22.855 in 2006.

Perhaps the intimacy of Asturias, created by the social life and the relatively small populations numbers, has a huge effect on mentality of Asturias... and on the experience of living in Asturias.

My impression is that Americans tend to live more in isolation from each other, whereas Asturians tend to be more urban and much more socially active. Maybe the relative isolation of Americans means that we don't have as many opportunities to learn from each other.

On the flip side, maybe all of that socializing in Asturias doesn't leave much time for creative and entrepreneurial activities, which could explain some of the economic problems. Of course, many Americans spend their time alone watching TV, so less social life doesn't necessarily make us productive!

-----------------------------

En otro tema: http://www.asturianus.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=17050#17050
Is (Paul) formuló una cuestión muy interesante de las mentalidades distintas de los americanos y asturianos.
Is wrote:
Sadly, the stodgy bureaucratic machine that is in charge of tourism promotion in Asturias can't deliver. I don't know if it's ignorance or lack of marketing skills. Tourism in Asturias is entirely focused on visitors from Madrid. It may sound odd to the rest of the world, but such is the mentality there.

And speaking of mentality, many of us are nominally Asturian (Art, Bob and myself included). But we lack Asturian mentality for things like these. I realized at the Asturian pavilion in Lorient that mentality is its own animal, aside from the love one may have for Asturian culture and the place itself. Meeting halfway would be constructive.


Eso es una interesante reflexión acerca de la diferencia de mentalidades. Un mentalidad puede ser algo que sea difícil de aprender.

Por ejemplo, este verano tuve el placer de conocer a alguien que hace mucho de la construcción de su propia casa y quien le gusta la construcción de cosas para divertirse. Esa es una mentalidad muy "norteamericana".

Otra cosa que me sorprende es que a menudo me encuentré a personas muy inteligentes y bien informadas en Asturias. Conocí a mucha gente de la media también, pero me quedo impresionada por la inteligencia. Sospecho que eran la "crema de la cosecha" de Asturias, y me pregunto por qué mis experiencias de Asturias y de EEUU son tan diferentes.

Una clara diferencia es que he dejado de vivir con los intelectuales en los EEUU. Es que mi círculo social ha cambiado porque ya no participo en la educación superior (universitaria) y porque ahora vivo en los suburbios. Probablemente la intelligentsia estadounidense se acerca más a las grandes ciudades y puestos de trabajo en el mundo académico.

Pero quizás intervenían otros factores. En Asturias hay sólo alrededor de un millón de personas, por lo que es posible conocer a otros que sean especialistas en algún campo. En contraste, hay más de medio millón de personas que viven en mi consejo (condado) y hay 2,7 millones de personas en el área metropolitana de Baltimore y no somos una gran ciudad.

Siempre he quedado impresionado de que Mafalda sabe a tantas de las personas de Arnao. Hoy me di cuenta de porqué es posible. Mi pequeña pueblo natal tuvo una población de 7500 y en 2000 en Pasadena, MD, el barrio en que vivo ahora, tuvo alrededor de 12.600 residentes. Arnao tuvo alrededor de 200 en 2004 (si estoy leyendo ésto correctamente: http://tematico8.asturias.es/export/sites/default/consumo/sanidadAmbiental/sanidad-ambiental-documentos/AIII/Castrillon.pdf). Mi consejo (condado) (Anne Arundel) tuvo alrededor de 518.000 en 2008, la de Mafalda (Castrillón) tuvo 22.855 en 2006.

Tal vez la intimidad del Principado de Asturias, creado por la vida social y el población relativamente pequeña, tenga un enorme efecto en la mentalidad de Asturias ... y sobre la experiencia de vivir en Asturias.

Mi impresión es que los estadounidenses tienden a vivir más en un aislamiento de los demás, mientras que los asturianos tienden a ser más urbanas y mucho más activas socialmente. Tal vez el relativo aislamiento de los norteamericanos signifique que no tengan tantas oportunidades para aprender unos de otros.

Por el otro lado, quizás tanta vida social en Asturias no deje mucho tiempo para la creatividad y las actividades empresariales, lo que podría explicar algunos de los problemas económicos. ¡Por supuesto, muchos estadounidenses pasan el tiempo viendo la televisión solos, por lo que menos vida social no necesariamente nos hace productivos!
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Llames



Joined: 11 Jul 2008
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Location: Xixón (Asturies)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting topic, Art

My opinion:

I think that asturian mentality is a product of what Asturies lived in the past 60 years. A land almost living of a monoculture of the great steel industry built by the Spanish State, ENSIDESA-ARCELOR-ACERALIA . Also its derivatives, such as the coal needed for its operation (HUNOSA) and the port.

Thus, from 1957 until today Asturians we have become accustomed to living of a large state enterprise and its auxiliary industries. This has made our capacity as entrepreneurs is one of the lowest in Spain. Example, to get the same number of entrepreneurs, Faculty of Economics Oviedo need to license 10 times more students than in Barcelona.


Since 1993 the largest state enterprise in Asturies is the Asturian Government, not any other private enterprise. Example, 70% of the Asturian university officials want to be civil servant . Another example, Asturian Government hires civil servants at a rate six times higher than private employment.

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Interesante tema, Art. Precisamente vengo dándole vueltas a este tema desde hace tiempo.

Mi opinión:

Creo que la mentalidad asturiana es producto de lo que vivió en los últimos 60 años. Una tierra que vivía casi en regimen de monocultivo de la gran industria siderúrgica (¿qué os voy a contar que no sepáis también en allí?) construida por el Estado Español, ENSIDERA-ACERALIA-ARCELOR. También de sus derivados, como el carbón necesario para su funcionamiento (HUNOSA)o el puerto.

Así pues, desde 1957 hasta hoy los asturianos nos hemos acostumbrado a vivir de una gran empresa estatal y de sus industrias auxiliares. Esto ha hecho que nuestra capacidad como emprendedores sea una de las más bajas de toda España. Ejemplo, para conseguir el mismo número de emprendedores la Facultad de Economicas de Oviedo necesita licenciar a 10 veces más estudiantes que la de Barcelona.

Desde 1993 la mayor empresa del país es el Principado y no una empresa privada. Ejemplo, el 70% de los universitarios asturianos desean ser funcionarios. Otro ejemplo, Asturias contrata 6 funcionarios por cada 1 empleo privado creado.
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Llames



Joined: 11 Jul 2008
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Location: Xixón (Asturies)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My personal fight with Asturian mentality:


I left Asturies in 2000 for laboral reasons. In 2007 a friend of mine, an asturian geologist who lives and work in Madrid, called me to join a new project. He wanted to install a Geopark in the oriental coast of Asturies.

A Geopark is defined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as follows:

* A territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value.

The UNESCO International Network of Geoparks program aims at enhancing the value of such sites while at the same time creating employment and promoting regional economic development.The idea of UNESCO is to label up to 500 Geoparks worldwide. The UNESCO Geopark Program works in synergy with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and Man and the Biosphere (MAB) World Network of Biosphere Reserves.



My friend also called to another asturian geologist who lives in Barcelona and to an asturian biologist who lives in Mallorca (like me).

The idea was to give back Asturies the knowledge and experiences that we had been purchased out of our land. So, all would work selflessly to produce a final draft to the Asturian Government for the installation of a Geopark. We work 15 months for free (we pay our travels from our cities to Asturias for fieldwork, visits to other Geopark, etc, etc) and we finished the job in November 2008.

The work was about 450 pages divided into 3 sections, each one did his specialty:
1 - Geological Prospecting and actions thereon
2 - Sustainable Development
3 - Communication and tourism development

It took 4 months to get a meeting with someone in the Asturias Government(and that after asking several favors and make dozens of calls), ie in February 2009. The politician said that it seemed a brilliant idea and that we will have a replied in a few weeks.

In late March, we began to call and send mails to the person who received us in the Asturian Government to inform her that we were going to submit the draft to several international congresses on Geopark (we pay the registration fees, travel, etc, etc). Nobody answered us in 3 weeks trying it.


We carried a lot of time outside Asturias and maybe we forgot about how the things work there, so we decided that we were not going to be doing nothing waiting for a response, and we started making appointments with local authorities and commonwealths to present the project.

From March until June, we met with Villaviciosa, Colunga, Commonwealth of cider, Gijón, Caravia, Ribesella, Commonwealth of the East and Llanes. That is, all municipalities and commonwealths that form part of the project. Each meeting demanded a trip, paid for our pockets, from Barcelona-Madrid-Mallorca to Asturies.

The budget for the first year of the project's operation was 9,000 euros (as I wrote before, all the previous work was for free). During that time we also would work advising about the project for free. We were idealistic and we wanted a sustainable development project that aims to establish rural population, to defend the culture of the land and create wealth in our homeland.

We didn't get that nobody dares to take a step. Everyone told us that the project was sensational but without the support of the Asturian Government (which since February has not returned to answer any of our attempts to communicate with him) they wouldn't move a finger.

According told us in most places, the project will take too much work and did not have enough trained personnel to monitor (remember: the asturians councils has one of the highest number of civil servants in respect of its entire population of Spain).


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Mi lucha personal con la mentalidad asturiana:


Salí de Asturies en 2000 por razones laborales (uno más). En 2007 un amigo mío, un geólogo asturiano que vive y trabaja en Madrid, me llamó para participar en un nuevo proyecto. Quería instalar un Geoparque en la costa oriental de Asturies.

Un Geoparque es definido por UNESCO como sigue:

* Un territorio que comprende uno o más sitios de importancia científica, no sólo por motivos geológicos, sino también en virtud de su carácter arqueológico, ecológico o cultural.

La red internacional de parques geológicos aspira a favorecer el desarrollo regional sostenible, crear empleos y ayudar a la promoción económica así como fijar población rural y apoyar la cultura tradicional. El Programa de la UNESCO Geopark trabaja en sinergia con la UNESCO Centro del Patrimonio Mundial y el Hombre y la Biosfera (MAB) de la Red Mundial de Reservas de Biosfera.


Mi amigo llamó también a otro geólogo asturiano que vive en Barcelona y a una bióloga asturiana que vive también en Mallorca (como yo).

La idea era devolver a Asturies los conocimientos y experiencia que habíamos adquirido fuera de nuestra tierra. Así, trabajariamos todos de forma desinteresada para poder presentar un proyecto cerrado al Principado para la instalación de un Geoparque. Trabajamos 15 meses de forma gratuita (pagándonos los viajes desde nuestras ciudades a Asturias para el trabajo de campo, las visitas a otros Geoparques, etc, etc) y conseguimos terminar el trabajo en noviembre de 2008.

El trabajo tenía unas 450 páginas divididas en 3 secciones que, cada uno en su especialidad, había redactado:
1- Prospección geológica y actuaciones al respecto
2- Desarrollo sostenible
3- Comunicación y desarrollo turístico

Tardamos 4 meses en conseguir que nos recibiera alguien del Principado (y eso tras pedir varios favores y hacer decenas de llamadas), es decir, Febrero 2009. El Principado le pareció una idea genial y quedó en contestarnos en unas semanas.



A finales de marzo, comenzamos a llamar y mandar mails a la persona que nos recibió en el Principado para informarle de que ibamos a presentar el proyecto a varios congresos internacionales sobre Geoparques (pagando nosotros los gastos de inscripción, el viaje, etc, etc)

Nosotros llevabamos mucho tiempo fuera de Asturias así que decidimos llevar el proyecto como vimos que se hacía en otras partes. No íbamos a estar sin hacer nada esperando una respueta, empezamos a concertar citas con Ayuntamientos y Concejos para presentar el proyecto.

Desde Marzo hasta junio, nos reunimos con Villaviciosa, Colunga, Mancomunidad de la sidra, Gijón,Caravia, Ribesella, Mancomunidad del Oriente y Llanes. Es decir, todos los ayuntamientos y mancomunidades presentes en el proyecto. Cada reunión exigió un viaje, pagado por nuestros bolsillos, desde Mallorca-Madrid-Barcelona.

El proyecto tenía un coste para su primer año de funcionamiento de 9.000 euros (como ya dije entregábamos nuestro trabajo de forma gratuita). Durante ese tiempo trabajaríamos asesorándoles también de forma gratuita. Sólo queríamos ayudar a Asturies con un proyecto de desarrollo sostenible que pretende fijar población rural, defender la cultura de la tierra y crear riqueza.

No conseguimos que nadie se atreviera a dar un paso. Todos nos dijeron que sin el apoyo del Principado (que desde Febrero no ha vuelto a responder a ninguno de nuestros intentos de comunicarnos con él) no moverían un dedo.
Según nos dijeron en la mayoría de los sitios, el proyecto daría mucho trabajo y no tenían suficiente personal capacitado para supervisarlo (a pesar de que los ayuntamientos asturianos tienen una de las mayores proporciones de funcionarios en relación a su población de toda España).


Last edited by Llames on Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:09 am; edited 3 times in total
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Llames



Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 120
Location: Xixón (Asturies)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conclusion:

In April, 3 city councils of the Basque Country came together to fund a contract to make a Geopark's draft. The budget is 60.000 euros only for the field work and initial drafting.

In June, The Extremadura Government(a spanish region in the border with Portugal) contracted a company to make a Geopark's draft in the north of the region. The budget is 90.000 euros.

In the same month, Leon (our south border region)announced a contract to make a Geopark's draft in Las Medulas. The budget is not defined.

In July, with all this news, we made our last attempt. We travelled to Asturies to meet with politicians to try to convince them with this arguements:

1. If several regions of Spain are doing Geoparks is because it can be beneficial.
2. The project for which, elsewhere, are paying higher amounts to 60,000 euros is already done and will deliver it free
3. The operating budget for the first year is only 9,000 euros. For example, spending on brochures for the Festival of San Mateo in Oviedo for this year are higher than 120,000 euros
4. We will do all the paperwork with UNESCO for free.


The response was always: It's a great idea, a great project, but we must wait for a grant from the European Union, the Spanish State or the Government of Asturias (which remains unanswered) to do something.

On July 21 this year, after 23 months of work and a cost per person in excess of 12,000 euros, the team who worked in the draft to install a Geopark in the east coast of Asturias, gave up and closed the project.

Let everyone take their findings.

------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusión:

En abril, 3 ayuntamientos del País Vasco se unieron para financiar un contrato para hacer un proyecto de Geoparque. El presupuesto es 60.000 euros sólo para el trabajo de campo y la redacción inicial.

En junio, el Gobierno de Extremadura contrató a una empresa para hacer un proyecto de Geoparque en el norte de la región. El presupuesto es 90.000 euros.

En el mismo mes, León anunció un contrato para realizar un proyecto de Geoparque en Las Médulas. El presupuesto no está definido.

En julio, con todas estas noticias, hicimos nuestro último intento. Viajamos a Asturies para reunirnos con algunos políticos para intentar convencerles de varias cuestiones:

1. Si varias regiones de España están haciendo Geoparques será porque puede ser beneficioso.
2. El proyecto por el que, en otras partes, están pagando cantidades superiores a los 60.000 euros ya está realizado y se lo entregamos gratis
3. El presupuesto de operaciones para el primer año es de sólo 9.000 euros. Por ejemplo, el gasto en folletos de las Fiestas de Oviedo para este año son superiores a los 120.000 euros
4. Nosotros haríamos todo el papeleo con la UNESCO de forma gratuita.


La respuesta fue la de siempre. Es una gran idea, un gran proyecto bien trabajado, pero hay que esperar a alguna subvención de la Unión Europea, el Estado Español o del Gobierno de Asturias (que sigue sin contestar) para poder hacer algo.

El 21 de julio de este año, tras 23 meses de trabajo y con unos costes, por persona, superiores a los 12.000 euros el equipo para la instalación de un Geoparque en la costa oriental de Asturias se rindió y dió por finalizado el proyecto.

Que cada uno saque sus conclusiones.
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is
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Llames wrote:
We carried a lot of time outside Asturias and maybe we forgot about how the things work there, so we decided that we were not going to be doing nothing waiting for a response, and we started making appointments with local authorities and commonwealths to present the project.
Nosotros llevabamos mucho tiempo fuera de Asturias así que decidimos llevar el proyecto como vimos que se hacía en otras partes. No íbamos a estar sin hacer nada esperando una respueta, empezamos a concertar citas con Ayuntamientos y Concejos para presentar el proyecto.


I'm glad you illustrated your point about Asturian mentality with this sordid experience of the Unesco Geopark. I guess one conclusion is that you should try to work around the local government mentality instead of with it. The FSA (Federacion Socialista Asturiana/Spain's PSOE in Asturias) is in effect a 20th century clientelist network still receiving funds from Brussels and Madrid, then administering it in its fiefdom according to political interests.

My own quick conclusion is that you should not embark on such projects and instead channel your resources elsewhere, beyond the reach of the local government. All the FSA worries about is poll turnouts, so they give people reasons to vote PSOE: we build infrastructure, we build hospitals, we give you free money and subsidies. You lead a good, simple life. The model is that of a paternalistic statelet with external resources. The sooner policymakers in Brussels realize this, the better for Asturias.

Look at what happened at El Musel (the seaport expansion in Xixon/Gijon). The EU decided not to finance the seaport after the budget exploded before completion. Brussels will likely ask for the previously extended credit to be returned because of the mismanagement there. There is no such thing as 'free money' and yet Asturians think it certainly DOES exist because the PSOE enables that kind of mentality.

It's really too bad this was the outcome for Asturias after Franco's Fascist regime: a sterile, non-creative place where young people with independent thinking have no place. By the way, the PP (Partido Popular) would probably establish its own clientelist networks in the way the PSOE does. It's just proof that politics in Spain as a whole is a boring, predictable thing. It barely even qualifies as politics.

----

Cuido que esta esperiencia que tuvieras cono del Geopark de la UNESCO ia un exemplu de la mentalida asturiana. Seique una conclusion sedria que nun deberiamos combayar cona mentalida del gobiernin asturianu ya la sua manera de fader las cousas. La FSA (Federacion Socialista Asturiana), ia la mia impresion, tiene una rede clientelar tipica d'un partiu na Peninsula Iberica del sieglu XX. Chegan perras de Bruselas ya Madriz, ya el.los son los qu'alministran tou segun intereses politicos.

Outra conclusion ia que anantias de metete nun proxecto interesante cumo esti, tendrias d'axeitar los tous recursos n'outru l.lugar que tea l.lonxe de los canales oficiales del Principau. La FSA, cumo cualisquier partiu, brega namai polos votos nas eleiciones. El PSOE diz a la xente: nos tamos conas grandes infraestructuras, fademos hospitales, damos-vos dineiro de baldre ya subsidios. Vos tenedes una vida simple ya bona. Ia'l modelu d'un minifundiu paternalista con recursos foriatos. Cuanto mas ceu se dean cuenta en Bruselas de la situacion, meyor pa la xente mozo n'Asturias.

Mirai lo que pasou col proxecto del Muselon en Xixon. La UE decidiu nun financiar el sobrecoste del Musel despueis de que medrara misteriosamente el presupuestu. Ya peimeque van pedir que-ys dean las perras que gastanon por mor de las irregularidades. Nun hai cousas cumo 'dineiro de baldre' ya inda hai muitos asturianos que dicen que si esiste porque la FSA fala tol dia de perras p'aco ya p'acul.la. Ya la xente traga porque ia probe.

Ia murnio pensar que esti foi el destin d'Asturias tres morrer el reximen fascista: un l.lugar ermo au nun hai sitiu pa xente mozo con ideas independientes ya creativida. Tou seguru qu'el PP fairia igual que la FSA conas suas redes clientelares. Ia la mentalida asturiana de 'les cuenques' que feixo de la politica n'Asturias una cousa que nun esiste.


Last edited by is on Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Llames



Joined: 11 Jul 2008
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Location: Xixón (Asturies)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you, Is. The mentality in recent years has encouraged the patronage network of which we speak and is destroying the country. Fortunately I can not vote in Asturies because I live in another Spanish region, If not my decision would be something hard ... Now the PP, even some nationalists, have placed all their hopes on the return of Alvarez Cascos (Vicepresident and Minister of Public Works of the Spanish Government a few years ago),

Some other details:
- From January to June 2009, 6000 asturians younger than 30 years had left Asturies to seek work outside.
- During 2007, 19.000 asturians younger than 30 years had left Asturies to seek work outside (17% of the total population of this age)
- Asturies it the penultimate region of Spain in number of entrepreneurs


On a personal level, I had opened my eyes and had remembered how is Asturies. Currently I am only working in my doctoral thesis (about the institutional communication in the Municipality of Xixón...) and other egoists issues.

In summary, "Esto ye Asturies" (This is Asturies)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4bONncR-uM
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is
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Llames wrote:
On a personal level, I had opened my eyes and had remembered how is Asturies...


I think Asturians that have lived abroad (or elsewhere within Spain) come back with a different mentality and realize the pitfalls of the local way of responding to things. Yours, Llames, seems to be such a case.

Anyway, thanks to Art for opening this new thread because I think it lies at the core of many cultural disconnects. I don't have much time to go into detail now, but just wanted to post a dictionary.com definition of mentality:

mentality - a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations. Synonyms:
mind-set, mindset, outlook, attitude.

A mental attitude - a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways; "he had the attitude that work was fun"

...and to say that visiting German friends have suffered from Parisian mentality in the last few days, otherwise known as French rudeness. Let me just use that as an example of cultural mentality differences.

At Chez Paul, a restaurant in Paris' district of La Butte aux Cailles (13th arrondissement), very much a boho district, these friends from Berlin tried to have dinner on a hot summer evening. The place apparently specialized in southeastern French fare and pitched itself as 'traditionnel' (traditional).

The owner himself, Paul (60-ish, dressed in beige linen shorts and a chic black t-shirt), dished out the best of Parisian rudeness when dealing with them. He told them they were probably at the wrong restaurant, that his was no run-of-the-mill place, that they might want to look for a pizzeria.

The Germans remained civil, but stopped ordering at that point. When the owner asked them what the main dishes would be and they asked for goat cheese salad, he said they needed to order main dishes too. The German visitors got up and left, while the Frenchman stood, in his beige shorts, with an air of disdain and legitimacy.

Sometimes we say 'only in New York', for the better and the worst. But this certainly applies to Paris. Obviously, the owner of this restaurant has a mental constellation the size of a turnip in southeastern France. Such arrogance would be rare in Asturias, for example, especially toward foreigners who get special treatment there. it would be rare in New York, where customers are not pariahs. Here in Paris, foreigners are generally disdained.

Just one more example of mentality disconnects. When in Paris, avoid Chez Paul in La Butte aux Cailles. There's a democratic Basque restaurant called Chez Gladines just around the corner where the food is near Asturian (=very good; pimientos rellenos de merluza) and the service is open to the rest of the world.
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Art
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate your comments, Llames and Is.

That's a very sad story, Llames. Your group proved the potential of the Geopark and you're ignored! I've begun believing in term-limits for politicians, in part because of the example of the Asturian government's non-leadership.

The irony is that there are plenty of creative and hard-working people in Asturias. A friend has been dreaming of setting up a specialized trade school in Asturias but does not want any government involvement. Why? My friend is frustrated by the frequent stupid decisions that result from government cronyism.

Is' Parisian restaurant story is a great example of a dysfunctional mentality.

If it's societal mentality, it's not a problem of just one person or one political party, it's a dysfunction of the community as a whole.

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Agradezco vuestros comentarios, Llames e Is.

Esa es una historia muy triste, Llames. Tu grupo demostró el potencial del Geopark y os ignoran! He comenzado a creer en el valor de limitar los mandatos de los políticos, en parte debido a el ejemplo de la falta de liderazgo del gobierno asturiano.

La ironía es que hay un montón de gente creadora y trabajadora en Asturias. Un amigo ha estado soñando de crear una escuela de oficios especializados en Asturias, pero no quiere ninguna intervención del gobierno. ¿Por qué? Mi amigo está frustrado por la adopción frecuente de decisiones estúpidas que resultan de favoritismo del gobierno.

Historia de Is sobre un restaurante parisino que es un gran ejemplo de una mentalidad disfuncional.

Si se trata de una mentalidad sociedad, no es un problema de una sola persona o un partido político, es una disfunción de la comunidad en su conjunto.
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Berodia



Joined: 14 Mar 2004
Posts: 327
Location: Cabrales

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pero por dios, ¿a quién se le ocurre semejante cosa?

Las cosas no funcionan así. ¿Alguno tenéis carnet del Psoe? ¿Sois alguno hijo de cacique del Soma? ¿Os apellidáis alguno Cosmen, Areces, o Masaveu?

Regalad el estudio a alguien que sepa moverse, es decir que tenga padrino o familiar en plaza, y veréis lo poco que tarda la administración en licitar un estudio de geoparque por 150.000 euros. El tema es bueno, puede dar para rellenar el programa electoral para dos o tres legislaturas.

Ya circula por ahí un libro blanco que tiene algo que ver con la cultura (la que le gusta a Alvárez Areces y a su La Laboral) que costó una pasta. Miles de euros cada "copy and paste"...

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Trans. Is

Jesus Christ, whose idea was that?

Things just don't work that way. Is any of you a dues-paying member of the PSOE [ruling party in Asturias for 30 years]? Is any of you the son the chief mobster of the SOMA [together with UGT, the traditional coal-mining union of Asturias]? Do your last names happen to be Cosmen [bus & transportation family holding with a de facto monopoly in Asturias], Areces [last name of the Asturian President] or Masaveu [wealthy lineage of Catalan-descended entrepreneurs]?

I think you should gift the proejct away to someone who can pull the strings or have them pulled by local patrons or extended family in Asturias. You will be surprised how agile the administration proves itself in carrying out feasibility studies for a Geopark, with the study itself budgeted at 150,000 euros. It's a great working idea and fits well with an election campaign over 2 or 3 terms of office.

It is rumored that a how-to manual is already in circulation out there, something that has to do with cultural policy (the kind of culture that Alvarez Areces enjoys and his La Laboral, which cost taxpayers a fortune). Thousands of euros thrown away for copy & paste ideas, as usual...
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is
Moderator


Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Yaoundé

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to translate Berodia's post because it was so rich in irony and required brackets for those not in the know. He seems to be an utter skeptic, which is precisely the type of person in Asturias looking at local mentality and the lack of competing political ideologies there.

Areces and the government-connected wealthy families that he caters to are the ultimate 'owners' of Asturias. Amazingly, people continue to vote for those who rip them off so easily: PSOE (in its cheap-o FSA version) and PP (in its non-existent ideological system).

If I were a taxpayer in Asturias, I would start class action lawsuits for all the cases of corruption in the last years, including the 200 million euro cost overrun at El Musel, the seaport expansion project in Xixon/Gijon. It is the apex of comedy that the PSOE will now (Aug. 24, 2009) be 'investigating' this cost overrun. And the only reason for that ignoble act is because a new minister in Spain's central government in Madrid was not in-the-know of all the 'family affairs'.

It's embarrassing to be Asturian sometimes...
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Llames



Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 120
Location: Xixón (Asturies)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Berodia, manín, que más quisiera yo....encima tengo esti apelliu tan asturtzale y vieronme vestíu d'asturianu....doi gracies por que nun me faigan arder na foguera Laughing

Voi facete casu:

Regálase Plan pa desendolcar Asturies ya fechu y muy poco utilizau (sólo se sacó 10 vegaes de la su funda), vamos casi nuevu. A estrenar.

Vien de serie con pallabres de moda como desarrollu sostenible, desestacionalización, defensa de la cultura propia y UNESCO.

Razón equí

Diba poneme a tornar toes este babayaes míes, pero creo que me supera el tema. ¿Pues echame un gabitu, Is?

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Trans. Is

Dear Berodia, that is my dream come true. But my last name is a wee bit too Asturian and they saw me dressed as an Asturian. I'm lucky I got away without being burned at the stake. Laughing

I'm going to follow your advice:

Donation: a Development Plan for Asturias. The Plan is already fully designed and is currently not implemented. It has only been removed from its manila envelope 10 times, so it is like new.

The Plan comes with current buzzwords like sustainable development, preservation of indigenous culture, UNESCO and it does not hinge on seasonality.

Information upon request.

I was going to translate this self-nonsense on my own, but I think it may be beyond me. Can you give me a hand, Is?

Thanks.
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ayalgueru
Moderator


Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 108
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art wrote:


If it's societal mentality, it's not a problem of just one person or one political party, it's a dysfunction of the community as a whole.
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Si se trata de una mentalidad sociedad, no es un problema de una sola persona o un partido político, es una disfunción de la comunidad en su conjunto.


I think Art hits the spot with that comment , we always look at the political classes and their incompetence , but at the end of the day, people tend to behave rationally , if there is no benefit in doing a good job most people would settle for a poor one ,,, local asturian politicos are surely no exception, they know they can get away with gross incompetence so I can imagine they probably think why bother ? .. In any case they are too busy elbowing each other ,,, I am sure it gets very competitive up there , candidates to join the party the are never in short supply ,,,

If only we had a civil socity that would stand up to the abuse and incompetence ...now in addition to and beyond incompetence it even looks like there is worrying evidence pointing towards fully fledge corruption ,,,

Asturies is a place with freedom of speech and at least to a certain extent under the rule of law and despite that , the fact that no one calls their bluff leaves me nothing short of flabbergasted ...


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Ast
Yo creo que Art acierta dafechu col so comentariu , siempre tamos mirando a les clases politiques y la so incompetencia , pero al final del dia , la xente comportase racionalmente d'alcuerdu a los estimulos recibios , y si facer un bon trabayu nun trae nengun beneficiu pal que lo fae , la mayor parte de la xente va facer una chapuza .. porque van ser una excepcion los nuesos politiquinos ,,, seguramente pesaran ,, pa que me voy molestar ? ademas taran demasiao ocupaos pegandose los unos colos otros polos chollinos ,,, la competicion tien que ser dura ,,, seguro que xente que quiera xunise a la folixa nunca nun falta ,,,

Ya podiemos tener una socieda civil que se enfrentare al abusu y la incompetencia ,,, agora enriba de too esto parez que ademas hay incios terriblemente preocupantes que apunte a casos de aparente corrupcion ...

Viendo tolo que hay , y teniendo como tenemos lliberta de expresion , y un hasta cirtu puntu funcional estau de drechu, parezme simplemente increible que nun haiga naide que yos vea el farol ye increible ,,,
_________________
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the cat washes in the river...
spring rain
Isaa Kobayashi (1816)
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