A very unusual telephone book was found in a Spanish village. Clients of the local telephone network are mentioned only by their nicknames in the book. The small, remote Spanish village is under the threat of extinction: youth is leaving for towns and cities, there are no newcomers in the village. Tourists never manage to reach the village, even in those cases when they get lost. As the village is near the Portugal border far away from the civilization, just few people stay to live here, mostly aged ones.
There are 569 people in the village now, and as it is traditional for villages, people know each other by their nicknames only. That is why mayor of the village decreed to publish an unusual telephone book: the villagers are enumerated in an alphabetic order, but not according to their real names and family names, but according to their nicknames. Spanish nicknames corresponding to English words rat, lizard, little Negro and so on can be seen in the telephone book. It is strange, but a department of Spain’s largest bank, BCH, situated in the village is mentioned by the nickname of the bank clerk – Boti.
Owner of a village pub says that people know each other by nicknames perfectly well. That is why the idea of such an unusual telephone book appeared. A village administration official says with a smile that it was a real problem for the people to deal with a regular telephone book.
Addresses are also given in the telephone book right the way they are nicknamed by the locals; it is not a secret that people often give nicknames even to streets. People of the village say that practically none of the villagers remembers authentic names of the streets. It is easier for the people not to remember the name of some exact street, but simply to explain that, for example, this is the street where the church stands.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969