Thursday, September 30, 2010

When times get tough, just go on strike

So yesterday there was a huelga general, or a general strike in Spain. Because of the budget cuts all over the country and the failing economy, people have not been very happy. There were strikes last year of the Madrid metro, commuter trains, civil servants, and air traffic controllers. However, they did not go on strike all together for one day. Yesterday the unions decided to demonstrate their frustration with Zapatero (Spain's president)for so many budget cuts. Since unions are not as popular in the US seeing an entire city shut down for a strike was very interesting to me. Most of the stores yesterday were closed, public transportation was running at 50%. There were lots of demonstrations in the streets and center of Madrid. I'm no expert on unions and labor laws here in Spain, but it seems to me that whenever there is something the Spanish people are not happy about they just go on strike. I do think though that the strikes have an effect. When the metro shuts down, the city is a mess. There are twice as many people on every train and the trains come less frequently. The unions are happy with the outcome of the strike so I'm hoping there won't be another one for a while! Until then here is a video about the effect of the strike on public transportation.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why hello there again, Madrid

After a very unstressful day of traveling, I arrived in Madrid. Although I didn't have my own choice of movies on the flight I had a benedryl which helped me sleep for most of the flight haha. I arrived back tired but excited and was met by my boyfriend Alberto at the airport. After a quick breakfast I took a nap and ate lunch. It was a really nice day outside so Alberto and I went to take a walk in Retiro park. It was nice to get outside and in the fresh air. I'm now going to eat dinner with my roomates at our favorite place near our house, El Buscon. Yum! It feels good to be back after a great summer in NC.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Let the countdown begin

Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my vacation back home in NC, the time is coming for me to return to Madrid. I leave on the 25th which is less than 2 weeks from now. I feel like my summer has flown by. Although I am really excited about returning to Madrid for another year with the crazy ninos, I also am going to seriously miss it here. It has been so good to see all my friends and family but I also miss my friends in Madrid. In awesome news, Anthony Bourdain just did his most recent episode in Madrid! No te preocupes friends, I watched it and wrote down everywhere he ate. I fully intend to do a Bourdain tour of Madrid (minus the sheep herding part, that might be a little hard to work out)