Back to the Start

Hey guys … Remember me? I’ve not been posting much lately, have I? Well, there’s a reason for that. A big one.

Mario and I have moved to the U.S.!

As you can imagine, we’re both really excited to see what this new stage in our life together has in store for us. The past year has been filled with bureaucracy. You thought Spanish bureaucracy was bad? I got news for you: you have no idea.

I’ll have more details soon, including our spousal visa timeline, but I would just like to thank all of you for reading. I kept the news on the down low for work reasons, although many people figured it out. And I promise, this blog isn’t ending! Just changing a bit. Mario might have some funny observations for you in the future.

St Patricks Day Spain USA

Celebrating his first St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. by wearing a goofy beaded green tie.

Shout out to Betsy Transatlantically and C’est Moi, Sara Louise for their blog entries about visas and all the frustrations that go along with them—you really helped me out!

The Curious Case of Francisco Nicolás

Imagine a twenty year-old kid, a kid from some small town in the Midwest, say. Say that he’s studying at Georgetown University Imagine this kid has grandiose visions of himself. And so he finds a way to pretend he’s a VIP—a CIA agent, the godson of Nancy Pelosi or former President Clinton. Maybe he even tries to scam some people out of a considerable amount of money.

Well, something like this did happen in Spain. Recently, it came to light that a young man now referred to as Pequeño Nicolás (Little Nicholas) has forged official documents, pretended to know and advise senior Spanish officials, and told people he was an agent of Spain’s version of the CIA, the CNI.

Of course, Spaniards have had a field day with this. The memes are rather hilarious, especially if you understand a bit about Spanish culture.

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The Shame In Spain

“Es una vergüenza…”, “Así nos va”, “Normal, este país”

Last week, a nurse in Spain became the first person to catch ebola outside of Africa. Scary? Maybe. A cause for extra precaution, for more education? Definitely. Shameful? I don’t know if we should go that far. But during this past week, I’ve heard a lot of reactions from Spaniards—friends, Twitter personalities, politicians, newscasters, etc. Some offered support to a person who was risking her life to save someone else. But a lot of people talked about shame. Shame? Yes, shame.

La vergüenza ajena

I love Spain. I think it’s a pretty cool country—beautiful, with great food, open-minded people (mainly). It has its problems, but it’s overall a nice place to live. I am sometimes shocked by Spaniards’ views on their own country, the way they insult it, as if their problems made it a terrible country. As Spanish National Television put it in a blog post, “We Spaniards feel shame constantly.” As the blog mentions, everyone feels a twinge of shame when your drunk uncle does ridiculous things at a wedding. Of course! But Spaniards seem to feel shame where most of us wouldn’t, to feel shame when they personally haven’t done anything wrong. La vergüenza ajena, feeling shame on the behalf of another person.

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Spanish News: What’s Happening Now

Spain in the News: March 2014

I am not very good at keeping up with the news. I don’t watch the news broadcasts; I don’t buy a newspaper. The most I do is follow Spain’s three big national newspapers on Facebook. (Those three being ABC, El Mundo, and El País.) However, in a concerted effort to know more about my world, I’m committing to write posts like these—updating you on what’s been happening lately in Spain. I’ll link to these stories in English, though many of you may read Spanish.

Adolfo Suárez, Spain’s First Democratically-Elected Prime Minister, Dies

Adolfo Suarez Spain Prime Minister

Adolfo Suárez was 81 years old when he died, and he could no longer remember leading Spain, due to a debilitating case of Alzheimer’s disease, which he suffered from for nearly ten years. He served as prime minister from 1976 to 1981. During that time, his regime implemented democratic reforms and held Spain’s first free elections since 1936, prior to Spain’s civil war. Suárez inspired a lot of love and loyalty, and the crowds came out to pay their respects—more than 30,000 of them turned up to say farewell to him during his funeral procession.

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