2016 RESOLUTIONS: if you live here, this is what The Local thinks you should be doing this year:
1. Get out of your comfort zone with the Spanish language.
2. Take up the sport of padel.
3. Make 2016 a culinary watershed by learning how to make a new Spanish dish every month.
4. Volunteer: Work at a local soup kitchen or a food bank; volunteer with Age Concern España which helps older English-speaking people living in Spain; or get involved in helping refugees.
5. Walk (or cycle) the Camino de Santiago - a great way to experience Spain.
6. Learn to do something typically Spanish: Slicing jamón; pouring cider the Asturian way; flamenco dancing or guitar playing.
7. Head to a crazy Spanish festival.
8. Read 'Don Quixote', even if most Spaniards have never actually read it.
9. Get off the beaten track: Explore some of Spain's lesser known regions.
10. Join a political group: Get an insider's view of the nuts and bolts of the country's political machinery.
And who could argue with any of these, apart from every Spanish person you expose them to?
THE WAGES OF SPAIN: This year the minimum wage will be €655.20, which I work out to be €3.72 an hour. Low as this is, it will be ignored – with total impunity – by many employers. Especially those paying 'on the black'.
1. A journalist friend tells me that a headline which raises a question invariably merits the answer No. With that in mind here's an article headed: Have Spain's elections killed the euro?
2. 2016 - The year the EU dies?: This article raises this spectre and fingers the villains as the elites who designed the euro knowing it would lead to exactly this outcome. Many of these elites were German—though most were not elected government officials. The writer adds: The eurozone is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. At one time, this may have been a controversial statement — but we see clear proof of it now in Greece. The elites who designed the euro knew it would lead us here.
FACEBOOK: How many times, I regularly wonder, do you have to ask them to stop doing irritating things before they finally comply?
FINALLY . . . OBJECTIFYING MEN: This, it seems, is flourishing. Extracts from an articles on it:
- If 2015 brought us any closer to gender equality, it is because men were objectified more than ever before. This was the year when male objectification went mainstream.
- This is happening in part because women are feeling freer to express sexual desire.
- There is a sense of women being more comfortable with voicing their attraction and their sense of desire and not feeling they have to hide all that and pretend they don’t have any sexual desire.
- The objectification of men in advertising, or “hunkvertising”, has been happening for some time but this has now gone full throttle.
- Objectifying men doesn’t upset anybody. You really can’t offend the white male.
- If men are being objectified, they don’t seem to mind too much.
Mind? Bring it on!