Is it really that bad in Spain?

A Frequently Asked Question throughout my trip to England. Yes, I would reply, it  really is. I’ve lived it, I can see it all around me, and the figures don’t lie (they just manipulate). Yet, the doom, gloom and apathy doesn’t help.  The UK is out of recession, but it was grey for nearly the entire time I was there. I’ve returned to a beautiful, light, and sunny Spain, but to a pessimistic atmosphere for the year ahead. Right now the country needs active risk-takers, people willing to invest their time if not their money in new projects; people open to moving around and travelling. There’s no place to live like Andalucía but other regions and countries have a lot to offer too – economically, culturally, socially and even politically. Later, young people can bring their experience, skills and maybe money back to Spain where, deep down, most of them really want to live. It all sounds so simple right? I know that it’s not. These are complex, despairing and even tragic times for Spanish people.  Especially for older people who somehow have to provide for their families.  I would only ask that people are patient, positive and proactive – that we club together to think up new and imaginative solutions, and that we can still smile and be thankful for the sunny Spanish winter mornings (y las tapas, la gente, las risas etc etc…).

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Let’s open a Tapas Bar in London!

With top quality, authentic Spanish food. Not these frozen tapas you get in La Tasca (the Spanish MacDonald’s, according to my friend)…

British people do love a bit of Spain.“Oooh! I just love some Tapas!” cry the people who come to visit me.

I understand. The idea of ‘lots of different bits’ of food to share is very appealing and novel to us Brits.

Yet, some ideas the Spaniards have about British alimentation are funny. Talking about the Tapas Bar. My friends: “We’ll have to take Olive Oil with us, you can’t buy it in England”. Me: “Of course you can!!”

My friends: “Pero aceite de OLIVA?? Most British people cook with butter, and if not they use vegetable oil!!” At my university we all cooked with olive oil – a couple of quid from Tesco :).

Tapas

Another classic: “And of course, we’ll serve cold beer! Nada de esa cerveza caliente!” Me: “We don’t drink warm beer, you’re getting confused with Germany. If our beer’s warm it’s because we drink pints, and once you get half-way through”…

I laughed and suggested that perhaps we should concentrate on the food.

That was when we realized… none of us are actually capable of producing “Top quality, authentic Spanish food”. No pasa nada. We’ll learn ;).