US Aid in Cambodia

6 Jul

In the middle of Tonlé lake in Cambodia, affluent of the World famous Mekong river, the daily boat going from Battambang to Chong Kneas stops by in a floating house after an average of six hours trip —I said ‘average’ because the duration of the journey depends on the extension of the lake at that time, it can vary from 4 to 7 hours. That’s why all the houses in that area are floating, they can move according to the rainfalls without risk of flooding—. In that house, there is a family living thanks to the US Aid.

Healthy US Aid. With such aid, they prefer to sell it to the unintelligent westerners addicted to trash food, and buy local food. Lots of rice and dishes like fish cooked with coconut milk and banana, all eaten with the hands.

Don’t you think now that our lives are too complicated, just because we did it this way? I gave to one of the kids an origami ‘comecocos’. Uncomplicated, inexpensive, local produced and enjoyable, like their food.


Stopping Madrid

5 Jul

When Madrid got up in the past tuesday, they found that there was no underground service. No train was passing through the third most extensive underground in the world. Two million of people were forced to use the bus and the taxi because the workers went on strike.

Luckily the workers decided to stop the strike on saturday and give a rest to Madrid. However, madrileños couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief because it was the day of the Gay Pride (practically the official fiesta of Madrid). More than one million of people went to the Parade, and hundreds of people went to the Bernabéu to watch Spain win Paraguay in a football match. The authorities had to cut traffic in all the center of Madrid all night until morning.

Madrid was recently ranked 10th World Most Livable Cities. Fortunately it doesn’t mean that Madrid has to be a boring city. I wonder how will be next week, it would be a surprise if nothing happens!

Big Brother: A moral lesson

19 Mar

I’m aware of the bad reputation of the first spanish reality show. However, you have to admit the success of this program around the world. Spain is the first country with more editions of Big Brother in the whole world with 11 seasons. But if we include the special ones (like Big Brother VIP among others) UK is the clear winner with 20 seasons (10 regular ones) and Spain would be in second position with 14 seasons.

Gran Hermano’ the spanish translation of ‘Big Brother’

I assume that the bad reputation is global, but it seems that it doesn’t affect to the steady high audience. And I have to confess that I’m part of that amazed audience. People use to say that ‘Big Brother’ is a stupid program because the competitors don’t do anything, just shout each other and show to the country incorrect moral behavior, instead of ‘Operación Triunfo’ (similar to X-Factor) where participants work very hard to sing well, and they teach how important is the sacrifice value.

Ok. I doubt a lot that a crazy fan of ‘Operación Triunfo’ who buys the whole collection of the program cd’s learns that he must study more. On the other hand I can assure that Big Brother has done more for this country than any other program.

Big Brother was the very first program where transexual people participated and talked openly about transexuality. Gays and lesbians competed as well (including a lesbian marriage who showed their love without reserves). Same-sex-marriage is legal in our country, but we are far from total tolerance, and a few years ago TV didn’t run a risk showing those kind of things. Therefore, showing how ‘normal’ is the life of a transexual man, how he laughs, or cries, or criticize his partners, or skives off weekly heat, made a huge difference in spanish television history.

Unfortunately, there’s also ignorance about muslim people, due to the fact that Spain opened his frontiers to immigration few years ago, and people weren’t use to new cultures, races and religions. So Big Brother included a black conservative muslim from Senegal, and we all had the opportunity of learn about him and get used to watching him praying and talking about his religion without any censorship. Additionally he was put in an awkward position because he had to live with a controversial transexual woman (this is what the host calls ‘sociologic experiment’). To our surprise, the muslim changed his mind and now they are best friends! Isn’t that amazing?

The muslim and the transexual woman having a chat

They also gave visibility to disabled people, showing how is life of a person who uses a wheelchair, for example: We could watch him playing hide-and-seek dragging his paralyzed legs across the house. Another competitor was a person of short stature, who showed us her daily difficulties like the incapacity to ride a normal bike, and we also learnt to get used to her body (Let’s admit it, we don’t use to see short stature women with bikini) Finally she appeared naked on the cover of a famous spanish magazine. Why her body can’t also be hot?

After all, I have learnt so much from this program, about positive values, about how to live together, about show business, and above all, about goodness.

Are you the kind of people who laughs at people who see BB? What do you think about the reality?

Where is the ball of the header?

18 Mar

Could you imagine where is it?

You’ll never guess: It’s in a latin-inspired nightclub of Bangkok called ‘Tapas’ where I was last summer. We preferred a latin place to break from asian environment after one month of travelling across China, Vietnam and Cambodia. However, it was full of thais and we didn’t find anything ‘latin’. But we had a lot of fun!


14 Mar

Spanish people like to describe Madrid as ‘canalla‘. It’s an untranslatable word. It can be like ‘swine, underhanded, naughty’, with both negative and positive meanings. You just have to walk around the city for few hours, and you will probably end up with two or three funny anecdotes: Maybe some eccentric character stopped you in the street and told you something inusual, or maybe some elder told you her inheritance problems with her sister at the underground, ore maybe some guy offered you a personal poem in exchange for money.

Madrid is a secure and social city, and that makes the capital of Spain unique, just because security fact is usually associated with personal isolation.

This is an example of what gives to Madrid the canalla‘s meaning, it happened to me yesterday: I was alone, walking down Montera’s street, a famous street full of prostitutes (don’t imagine Montera as a suburb-street, it’s situated in the most expensive neighborhood, at the center of the city) when some girl stopped me, and without saying anything she started to caress my cheek looking at my eyes, and she said:

– ‘I would suck your cock for free!’

As the contrary as you might think, I felt flattered, and I apologized saying to her ‘Sorry, I’m gay‘, and I continued my way with a smile.

Zhao’s way

13 Mar

Zhao, my Chinese Dynamic Macroeconomics teacher has become my new educational boy-toy about Chinese way of being.

I have learnt that if he pushes me violently, it means he is kindly asking me to move away because I’m on his way (seriously, that discovery meant an important improvement in the relationship). Now I’m investigating the reason of why he doesn’t cuts his cheek’s hair. It’s a pretty long and thick hair, and when he is under any light, the hair shadows all his face in a very disgusting way.

The last thing that surprised me was his way to mark the correct answer. In Spain we prefer to circle the correct one, in US they use ✓. But… how about the newcomer superpower? Let’s see…

A crooked rectangle above the answer! (You can see another one in the previous question)

It seems that we have a long way to have a full-understanding of their way of thinking. And since they became the second world’s superpower few months ago -surpassing Japan-, we have to do it quickly.

So, do you fancy a visit to the chinese supermarket? Last time I went I saw noodles for 0,75€!

Grandpa versus Future

10 Mar

My grandpa has the ability to talk about death without turning a hair, mainly his own. He looks to be just waiting -in a positive way- for the final moment.

I have always thought I couldn’t live more than 70 years and spend three decades (our generation is supposed to live 100 years) trying to be alive eating purée and playing petanque waiting for the moment. That’s why I liked this: Holland proposes giving over-70s the right to die if they ‘consider their lives complete‘. The proposal includes the right to have assisted suicide for anyone over 70 who wants to. A risky step-forward since they legalized euthanasia. Isn’t that amazing?

My grandpa laughs at me when I tell him that we are descended from apes -don’t get him wrong, it’s not his fault of having lived under Franco’s dictatorship-, but I can’t guess what he would think about it.