What’s going on in Europe and particularly in Spain? We’ll bring you the news in this section.
The situation in the United States is dire. Many are sorry that they voted for the Biden-Harris ticket. The Biden Administration points to the increased job figures as a sign of recovery but families go to food banks for help. One wishes you could warn the migrants heading for the US southern border that the American Dream is almost dead.
One might understandably take it for granted that in Spain, reputed to be a country where National Catholicism was a dominant part of its ideological identity not so very long ago, cohabitation, divorce, and children outside of marriage are rare. Surprisingly, there’s nothing further from the truth.
If you are not careful, you’ll miss spring in Spain altogether and spend most of your life wondering how you did it. It’s not hard, because the meteorological border is pretty indefinite; one day it is a dull, cold, rainy winter day and POW… suddenly it’s summer. There are ways to catch it though, and it all depends on how much attention you pay and where you are in the very changeable land of Spain.
The Government of Spain's good news: Unemployment, which stood at 14.1 % in November 2021, with youth unemployment at a staggering 29.5%, dropped from its 15-year perch of plus-three million jobless to 2.92 million in May 2022. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz are elated about the startling phenomenon. Opposition leader Alberto Nuñez Feijóo has accused the Government of massaging the figures.
During my thirty years as a TWA flight attendant, I spent many a layover at the Hotel Plaza. Whether coming off a new Boeing 707 in the sixties, the whale-sized 747 in the eighties or a sleek 767 in the nineties, the Plaza was my home away from home. The hotel was nestled inside the Edificio España, wrapped in a cozy cocoon of cafeterias, bars, restaurants and watering holes that catered to all tastes. There always seemed to be fruit floating in the water of the pool in the top floor from someone's sangria. And once in a while, a naked Maja was seen running across the balcony chased by a Don Juan Tenorio.
A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: The Spanish Scene, Spain’s Massiel Wins Eurovision Song Contest, 12 April 1968 »
The Spanish song entry "La, La, La" took top honors in the 13th edition of the continent-wide Eurovision Song Contest held in London last week. Twenty-year-old pop singer Massiel belted it out with enough energy to squeak through with a one-point victory over the English song "Congratulations" sung by Cliff Richards. It was Spain's first Eurovision triumph. When the results were announced, Massiel lit up like a Christmas tree in her sparkling mini-skirt outfit and launched into a real knock-out version of the tune.
US fuel prices have surged by 51% in the past year and by more than 90% since President Joe Biden took office in January of 2021. Biden is thought by many to be purposely grinding down the middle class. He praised high gas prices as part of an “incredible transition” away from fossil fuels. If you plan on traveling by car this summer, expect to pay more for gas, and if you plan to fly, tickets may be more expensive.
Although some passages in his book are dated, they make us realize what hardships The Original Tourist endured in roughing it on horseback across torrid plains and hostile mountains. Much has changed since Ford's day, but among the trifles of which he wrote so well remains unaltered today. "Gatherings from Spain" is more than an extraordinary eye-witness report on Spain in the early 19th century; it is more than a travelogue teeming with adventure and erudition; it is an honest record of a remarkable Englishman's reactions to a country he described as "the most romantic, racy, and peculiar of Europe, which hovers between Europe and Africa, between civilization and barbarity".
Rich with racy flavour, "Gatherings from Spain" is the earliest comprehensive account of Spanish travels that exists in English, written by Richard Ford, the master of vivid description of the country, Spain, that he loves so deeply, and the singular people who are "scarcely European living on a neutral ground between the hat and the turban". With characteristic zestful perspicacity, Ford would underscore above others the "Orientalness" of the Spaniards.