Thursday, April 21, 2011

If I Still Lived in Spain. . .

Lest any of you think that I all I do is sit around comparing my life here in the states to my life in Spain, let me explain. It's not like that at all. It's more like this. . . I'll be driving along and all of a sudden, something will hit me -- some way that my life would be very different if I lived in Spain.

For example, last week as I was driving along I passed the Strip here in Canton, and I thought it would be nice to stop at Panera and pick up my husband's favorite pastry. But the traffic was wild and I'd already passed the entrance, so I missed my chance. But if I lived in Spain, I would pretty much have to walk by a bakery at every corner and it would be so easy to pass by and pick up one for him every day -- along with a fresh baked loaf of bread for only 40 cents.

The same is true when I'm at home and realize I need one little ingredient for something I'm cooking. In Spain, when you realize that you need to pick up some milk or fruit, you don't have to get into your car and drive off to the grocery store. No, instead, every neighborhood has their own grocery and fresh market within walking distance. How convenient that was -- especially for someone who has now sworn off of processed foods as much as possible. These are some of the simple things I miss. Now here's a list of a few others.

If I still lived in Spain. . .

- I wouldn't need a car. I'd take the metro or the bus everywhere, and because of that, I'd have a chance to read a lot more books during my long commutes. (And I'd only pay about $40 for an unlimited monthly pass -- about the same price for one tank of gas here!)

- My husband wouldn't have to work on weekends and he'd have more than a mere week of paid vacation. This is probably one of the hardest ones of all for me. In Spain, workers of all types have a month or more of paid vacation, along with plenty of other holiday days throughout the year.

-- Estith and I would most likely be on vacation right now. This is of course, Semana Santa, or Holy Week; however, that doesn't seem to mean much here in the US. Estith has to work Good Friday and Saturday of this week. I suppose I should be thankful that he has Easter Sunday off, and I am. But come on, is it too much to ask for even a few days during the most important Christian holiday of the year? I guess so.

But before you think I hate my life here, I better switch gears for a moment.

If I lived in Spain, there are some things I couldn't do. For example, I wouldn't be able to see my family very often (and I'm very happy to have them close by.) I also probably wouldn't have been able to start World of Difference, or else, it probably would have taken a lot longer to build it being in another culture. Also, I love all of the greenery -- the trees and grass that are everywhere here in Ohio -- you certainly don't see that much in Madrid (although maybe in other parts of Spain I could find that).

So it's not that I begrudge everything about my life here. . . but I'm telling you, when it's a Saturday or a Sunday and my husband is working an 18 hour day, it's not hard for me to remember the numerous weekends we spent in Spain, visiting different cities because it was just that easy to hop on the train and get lost in places filled with history and fascinating architecture. It was easy because Spanish culture values time in a different way than we do.

When I think about that, it makes me think about all of the time we Americans spend working, and at what cost. Sometimes it makes me want to do something rash . . . like really live in Spain again.

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