“Galicia? Why on earth do you think I’d want to live in France ?” I glared at the Portuguese hippy who had turned up on our doorstep a few months earlier and who without failure appeared at dinnertime. Considering our dinner times varied since living in Portugal, this was nothing short of a miracle.
“No, Galicia, it’s not in France, it’s like, this Green Paradise, it is in Espain.”
“Green Paradise in Espain. Dude. You’re stoned.”
Hippy, on rare occasions did come out with wise things though. I got the quote The promised land is a state of mind from him. I thought that was good. I thought it was that good that I used it as my email signature until I realised thoughtful signatures were for really naf people.
Because Galicia wasn’t that far from Portugal, we decided to go and have a look. Just in case.
Turned out, he was pretty much right.
Galicia is green, it is nothing like the stereotypical Spain I had in my head, it is everything I’d imagined Ireland to be. This autonomous community, tucked into the north-west corner of Spain, not only has its own language, Galego, it even has its own pilgrimsroute and some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen.
Although I am averse to stereotyping, there is a stereotypical Galego. Even Galegos themselves laugh and joke about this. The supermarket chain Gadis started a slogan ”Vivamos Como Galegos” (we live like Galegos) and their advert paints a perfect picture of a Galego. It leaves me with a lump in my throat every time I see it. I’ve found a video on youtube of the advert with English Subtitles. Especially the ”bueno” is so true…