I LIKE to bounce about on weekends. Visit mountain towns tucked far away in the hills; stroll in, order a beer and sit in the corner and watch as the locals perform their daily song and dance. Recently, more frequently that not, I am not greeted, as in years gone by. I am begrudgingly given a beer and forgotten, as if I have made an untimely intrusion into their private lives.
I have been bothered by this, and know many a good elbow powered drinking Spanish mates with whom I could broach what I feel is an obvious “slight” toward me as a foreigner. This deep rooted Jungian symbolic problem is not easy to discuss. Often with Spaniard’s you can never ask the question outright, you’ve got to poke and peck about it before actually pronouncing your good intentions to take them down a few levels of consciousness.
That allows them time to wind up the cogs of their most inner thoughts (rather than just the top half of their brains which are loaded and ready with preset responses for gossip and football).
But, to get to the medulla a great deal of gentle foreplay must pass so as to not surprise them with a question they haven’t had proper time to conjecture enough before pronouncing upon.
“What is it with the Spanish nation lately? I just don’t feel as welcomed nor even appreciated as in years before?”
“Ric, look how many nations we have here, all holding out their hands, asking questions, telling the world THEIR WAY, acting as if we are sub characters in a movie role not to be seen nor listened too. We are tired as a nation, the onslaught came too quickly with too many. And, oh, what’s with the strange outfits, bizarre deportments and the funny painted collages on the arms and legs? Life for us has become a ‘living circus’—daily experiencing this army of invaders. I go home and tell my wife my peculiar circumstances of the day and she has four or five encounters to top mine. Look at your “lot” to us you come across as a bunch of clowns that we have to put up with daily?”
“Well Francisco”, I illuminated, “I suppose we do appear a bit strange en masse. But remember, it was these motley dressed visitors from afar that created your middle class and also are bringing something that your nation on the whole isn’t known for—political integrity. Look at all the pages and pages of political scandals written about in the national papers daily. It is one thing to talk about “honesty” as if it were a campaign slogan and popular street phraseology—and another thing for those governing to live by it. There are a lot of changes that need to be made to benefit all, and those can only come from innovators with an insight on how other places work.”