Trip to Spain, Portugal (Part 1 of 17)

David Wong returns and shares his travelogue and unique perspectives when touring in Spain earlier this year. Here you go,


Episode 1 – A Romantic Life

The world has its fair share of trouble with the European Union. A few countries are facing the inevitability of bankruptcy which makes everyone nervous. Yet the EU residents went on its happy go lucky way of enjoying life.

The Spaniards are still flocking all the eateries. They do not want to cook if they are on holidays. That gives them more reason to visit their culinary depots. A little drink, a little food but a whole load of conversation will keep them going for a long time.

In Spain, beware of retail business hours. They usually close the stores in the afternoon between the hours of 3 to 6. The sun will be too hot and few people ventures outside except for the poor tourists. It is time for siesta. Then the stores catch the second wind and re-open after 6. People will get prepared to go out and have dinner starting at 8 or 8:30.

You can also go to the parks, sit on the bench and chat with your neighbours, friends, lovers till late in the evening. Enjoy life first, work is secondary. Spanish people get 14 months of salary as a norm. One extra pay-cheque will be released in June for the summer holidays, and another extra pay-cheque will come in handy in December for the Christmas gifts. As far is work concern, you can go to work, then have your breakfast ½ hour later. Coffee breaks are frequent and enjoyed by everybody. Few people have the courage to challenge such a social norm. The Spanish people also believe in face to face conversation. If you have to meet clients or customers over lunch or dinner to discuss business, you can disappear for the whole day and no one will question. They are all doing it. With this relaxed attitude, efficiency is never heard of.

vivo disfrutar de vida = live to enjoy life

The Spanish senoritas have the makings of a perfect image. They have lovely skins with a perpetual tan, soft hair, faces with prominent features.

Spanish men are more handsome than men from other European countries. Their bright eyes, chisel cheeks, straight noses and a lanky body, put them together and you will have a handsome model. You do not find too many obese people in Spain since the narrow streets demand travelling by walking. This keeps everybody on their toes and exercise becomes automatic.

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The leisurely atmosphere can always go up a notch by adding music to it. The slow murmur of the Latin beat, the romantic slurring of their language, with the addition of flowers everywhere can really seduce people into a stupor of romance. Wine is cheap. It is cheaper than water. Who said alcohol will not help in conjuring up a romantic mood?

Barcelona is an easy place to fall in love with and I retire to this seduction of romance. I am phoning the Spanish embassy to-morrow to discuss the mechanics of immigration to this wonderful country.

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