Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm back

I'm finally back in the States after a couple fun weeks in Spain. It will take me a few days to up to speed on current events since I have pretty much been isolated from any news throughout my trip. The only Venezuelan news I managed to come across was an article in El Pais (I think) that reported on Chavez dropping his legal battle against his ex-wife seeking sole custody of his children. Apparently Marisable made public the harassment she has been receiving from pro-Chavez groups, she has lost he state appointed car, and hasn't been receiving alimony, all due to her recent remarriage to Felix Lisandro Garcia a tennis instructor. Interestingly Marisable is currently running for mayor of Barquisimeto in the upcoming elections in December.

During my trip, I found it humorous how the Spanish were still making fun of the whole "porque no te calles incident" in particular the press since Zapatero was about to make a trip to South America.

Thoughts and observation on Spain

Even though I have been to Britain and France before i still can't get over the fact that Europeans still seem incapable of making a functional bathroom, specifically a shower. I can understand not having a fixed shower head but at least make the shower enclosed in glass or have a curtain so one doesn't flood the bathroom, which I managed to do on a couple of occasions.

I was impressed with the energy conservation being implemented throughout the country, including a two button flush toilets, hall way lights set to motion detectors, compact fluorescent bulbs, and of course the prevalence of wind turbines.

Two of the most frustration things I found about Spain were the schedules and road signs. I quickly realized that opening times were simply times when one had the highest probability of the establishment being open. Of course it being open does not necessarily mean it is open to customers, and closing times don't necessarily mean that it will be closed past that time.

Apparently, the EU has been pumping money into Spain because it seems half the roads are new, therefore maps seem rather useless. To make matters worse road signs are written in what I would describe as 12 pt. text size font, and sometimes they are placed so close to exit ramp, or after the ramp, that you miss your exit.

After an enjoyable vacation sightseeing and visiting museums, with the added minor frustrations with the local culture, I am happy to be back in the States.