When I planned my suitcase I decided to take the most pragmatic approach. I would be travelling south during the month of May, therefore, I would meet sun and heat, halfway. It has not been the case at all. I have been wearing the same clothes for a month (washing in between). That makes me think of my 21 cubic-meter removal. Unnecessary stuff! My short sleeve t-shirts, skirts and 'sock less' shoes have only, and briefly, seen the light in Belgium. LOL.
Nevertheless I am not complaining, life has been good and generous. I have had the chance to contemplate beautiful landscapes, receive the morning's chill and feel amazed and happy when the sun would come out to greet me.
Today I had an intensive wineries day, each winery was different and special in their own way. Their mission statement was so personal and valid, that I enjoyed each and every visit. It is so comforting to meet talented and passionate young and old Spanish professionals, who believe in themselves and in what they represent.
It is so energising, in a country where crisis, unemployment and disenchantment rule, to see the other side. It is a kick in the spirit to try to be our best ambassadors, to believe in ourselves and what we can do for our country and for ourselves.
However, this afternoon I was confronted with the, sadly, present scenario. Two engineers; a chemical engineer, unemployed for the last two years and a telecommunications engineer, with a pay check under 1000 EUR, asking me about job opportunities in Germany. My heart shrunk. It is sad to see young and highly educated Spanish having to leave their houses and families, not because they are unprepared and irresponsible, the way sometimes we are pictured. They are not smarter, more intelligent and better workers when abroad, it is just because elsewhere, they are given the chance to excel. Why not in Spain? Why are we our worst enemies? Why do we always try to compete in price, when we can compete in quality? Why are we so humble (?) with our skills and our products?
While visiting wineries, the Spanish wineries have nothing to envy, if not the other way around, the wineries I have visited in other parts of Europe, but when selling the wines, Spanish wines are excellent value for money, but of course that has an impact in the whole chain. To achieve those prices, everyone I the chain, chips in. Due to this low wage approach, we go abroad to work and what we do is that the same labour force pays taxes and spends money elsewhere while here an aged population struggles to make it to the end of the month. Shops close, towns die, population decreases, the fields are abandoned and we sell our bottles of wine, at one third of the price we sometimes have to pay for a 'null zwei' glass of wine. And that, hurts.
Believe me, I have no clue what was first; the chicken or the egg, nor how to fix it. And these, are just my thoughts spoken out loud.
I am now only a few hundred kilometres away from home, 'reality' time is ticking, at times I feel lost and not knowing how I will continue, but when the morning breaks, I am always clueless how the day will go, and by the end of the day, not only have I survived, but I have learned something new, I have enjoyed and I have had a wonderful day. 'Moraleja': one day at the time, staying positive and looking at the bright side of life.
BTW, next time you visit Spain, be aware that in this country it is easier to have lunch at 17:00 than dinner at 19:30. But I managed to find a place and I am enjoying myself...
Paired with a glass of Ribera del Duero, I am sure this is also... Salud!