MY SUMMER VACATION: I went to Spain on vacation this summer. Traveling is overrated. It took us five days to get back to Oakland – don’t fly Norwegian Airlines.
I was surprised how prosperous the country was, how fabulous their transportation system. Barcelona has 4 different ways to get where you’re going: subway, underground light rail, surface light rail, and buses. Subway trains were three minutes apart. I wasn’t aware until I returned that Barcelona and read the New Yorker that “Barcelona is the heart of a new global political phenomenon known as municipalism.” I read up on the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Wikipedia lol. For much of the 1930’s, Barcelona was controlled by anarchists. I sense that that history resonates, and yet what I saw – perhaps because it was summer – a haven for yuppie tourists (like me lol). We went to Madrid, Toledo, Saville, Cordova as well, and they were all like this, which is to say much like the U. S. only clearly richer. Like the U. S., Spain benefited hugely from colonialism and imperialism. It’s telling that Ferdinand, Isabella, and Columbus are seemingly revered – the Royal Couple over saw the Inquisition, and the expulsion of the Moors and the Jews. I suppose they should get an iota of credit for having Chris arrested for cruelty to the Spanish Subjects (read the indigenous people of the Americas) – but quickly exonerated him.
The highlight of the trip was the three different Flamenco shows we went to. I learned that much of Flamenco came to Spain through the Roma people, whom it is speculated originated in India. I could hear the ragas and the tablas in their music. And the dance! Those feet! My wife wants us to take a class. I don’t know. I don’t think I can move my feet that fast anymore, if I ever could.