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Filling Potholes with Empty Promises

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs, which can now be seen online as well. 


We had just crossed the street when my youngest daughter looked up at me and said, “Daddy, why is the whole city being fixed? Was it so broken before?” I smiled to myself as I fondly thought back to the fact that she would have just been learning to walk the last time the election repair cycle had taken place. At five years of age, she had just had stumbled upon her first political insight. A realization that, long before the smiling yet anodyne faces of candidates adorn the lampposts and the official political campaigns begin, roads begin to get torn up in a clumsy attempt to remind the electorate that those in charge are in fact getting things done. A political maneuver that is definitely not case specific to Caceres, nor even Spain. I’ve seen this crude sleight of hand the worl…
Recent posts

Before We're Uberized

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

I have a soft spot for the Spanish postal system. Back at the turn of the millennium my mother and I decided to walk the Camino Santiago...in January. By the time we finally got started the weather was fine enough but what did become painfully clear after our first day’s walk was that there was absolutely no way my mom was going to make it with the mobile home that she was carrying on her back. The next morning she hobbled into a post office and mailed the backpack to herself in Santiago where it awaited us after our pilgrimage. It all seemed so efficient and I have carried that impression with me ever since. In fact, one of the first places I remember seeing a numbered waiting line here in Spain was at the post office. Before these magic machines were introduced, I had always suffered trying to figure out whose turn i…

Why Granada is our favorite city in Spain

Revisiting one of my favorite cities in Spain. A trip though Granada for Matador Network where the Alhambra isn't the only stop.

Almost 10 years now since another piece I wrote for them about the same city through a much different lense.

Reluctant Prophets

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

I’m starting to hear voices. Not the scary ones that tell you to do naughty things nor those deep and ominous tones informing you that you’ve become the new prophet of a new religion, but familiar ones, in English, as I walk through the streets of the city. Voices that I’ve heard my entire life around about this time of year. There’s Frank Sinatra reminding me that Christmas probably won’t be white here and next is Mariah Carey somewhat ironically rallying against consumerism with her amazing range all the way from the Plaza Mayor up to Canovas. I walk past a robot Santa who wishes me ‘Merry Christmas’ in perfect English and I see pictures of his reindeer in shop windows; it’s definitely navidad. It comes at a time when more and more voices can be heard blaming immigration for the problems the country faces. Angry voic…

Medieval Kebabs

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

Walking up the hill from my house and towards the Plaza del Socorro, the smell first hits me. It’s not unpleasant but certainly misplaced. An odor that I definitely wouldn’t expect as I walk to work and it takes me a moment to realize exactly what it is. I walk under the large tree in the square and realize that what I’m smelling are...donkeys and then I remember, it’s once again the time of year for the "medieval" market in Caceres. A smell that, if you forgive the monstrosity of the prison-like looking Archive to my left, wouldn’t be so out of place among these definitively medieval surroundings. As a stranger from a country where history was unwritten before the arrival of the Europeans, I always find it curious that once a year so much effort is made to make these streets appear even more…medieval. Renais…

Oh, He's Just Playing...

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.
I must have missed the email. Or perhaps the message came via SMS, like the ones Donald can now send out in case of national emergencies and it somehow got lost. I guess it could have been an old fashioned letter but whatever the case is, I didn’t get it. As a result I missed the decree and I am now the only person left in town without a dog. While this may seem an easy enough cross to bear, not owning a dog does come with its inconveniences. Just the other day while attending some Blues festival concerts in el Corral de las Ciguenas and later in Santa Maria, I wasn’t able to fully participate in the shows as those who had brought their dogs could. Without a dog, I couldn’t add to the barking and howling of those around me and I have to admit that I felt a little left out. Then the other day as I sat in a terrace havin…