It is extremely interesting to sit at dinner every night and watch the Spanish news, seeing and hearing things from a different perspective. Every evening, it’s pretty much the same thing. Riots; public revolts against the rising taxes, masses of students gathered together protesting the increasing prices of education, jobless crowds flooding the streets of every city. It makes it all feel so near, seeing them take place in front of buildings that I walk by every week in Madrid, getting emails from the directors not to take the trains on certain days to avoid the mobs.
And the news doesn’t just cover Spain either. Clips from France, Germany, Morocco, Italy, Holland, all flash on the screen over and over, showing all of the homeless people, the horrible floods, the starving families lined up to be fed. Our host mom always interjects, giving her own commentary from her Spanish perspective. Many times I agree with her, but often, when she talks of subjects such as the need for free medical care, or the necessity of removing taxes, I keep my mouth shut because I know I won’t be able to argue my points in Spanish. I have learned though, that many of the people here believe that students at the US universities are just handed jobs. They think that we all like Obama. They misunderstand our healthcare programs.
It has been interesting for me to hear about problems that I never would have considered. Tonight, I was watching about the huge problem of illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to get to Spain, because once they make it in, they are pretty much home free. How similar this is to the Mexico border! Now that I think about it everything makes sense, but I would have never expected the immigration to be such a problem here, but lo and behold, we saw clips of women, children, and men of all ages in boats and rafts trying to stow away to the banks of Andalucía.
Although I have been watching for stories on the US election, I have seen very few, and there has been nothing about Romney. The two-minute story tonight simply covered how Obama recently stated that Spain had reacted slowly to the economic crisis, and then the camera panned to Obama walking into crowds of ignorant cheering people. Our country looked foolish and I was ashamed. But I did find some good youtube videos. Sorry for any language.
I am sort of dying of deprivation from watching the election pan out. Reading articles online hardly suffices, and I need some good people to debate with. Literally the only interesting news I get is from reading people’s facebook statuses, and that barely suffices because I am beginning to learn that most people are extremely ignorant. Myself included, which is why I don’t ever post anything.
On another note, I spent all day today getting caught up and ahead on homework, and although I am almost completely insane and stir-crazy, I can call this day a success. Tomorrow morning I get to register for my classes and I am ridiculously excited/nervous because not only does it mean I’m going to turn into an intellectual ice cube up in Provo, but also that I’ll be jumping headfirst into the real world, and actually have to apply myself. Yikes.
Also, I have come to the conclusion that most Spaniards detest the Chinese but love the Japanese. Every native I have talked to has said something about the Chinese being loud, rude, pushy, and everywhere, which is interesting, because the Chinese own all the dollar stores and convenience stores that sell the “frutos secos” and nasty gummy candies, which the Spaniards are apparent fans of. The host moms all hate it when the Chinese bring their portable rice-cookers and try to cook in their rooms, and then they always think the Chinese students are angry because they sound like they’re yelling all the time. On the otherhand, the Japanese are quiet and intelligent. Stereotypes. No one can escape them, can they?
Oh, and I’m dying because I can’t watch Modern Family because Hulu doesn’t work over here. I did watch Thor though. Chris Hemsworth is beautiful even with his voice dubbed over in Spanish.