Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Snow in my town

It is very seldom that it snows in Madrid.  But yesterday it snowed although just a little bit.  It was a bleak, uninviting day to go to my psychomotor class which is about 15 minutes walk from my place.  I had to gather all my impetus to leave the house, it was snowing as I could see from my window.

At first, there were only the two of us waiting for class to commence, so I took the opportunity to take a selfie and a picture of the patio.

Luckily, several others came later and we were able to have good fun with the exercises specially with the step equipment to maintain equilibrium.

After class, I went to the library to read the newspapers, while I left my umbrella by the entrance to the class.  However, to my dismay, it was no longer there when I came back for it.  I knew somebody must have kept in inside, assuming that it may get stolen if left where it was. The door was locked.  But, as I went looking around for someone who can open the door for me, (classes were all finished and nobody was in sight).  There was a slim chance I could avail of my umbrella before leaving the building to use it on a rainy day.  But all of a sudden, someone came out from the LR and when I intuited she may have the keys, instead of answering my question if she had the keys, she went straight to the door and opened it. I found my umbrella inside behind a cabinet. Coincidence or Providence? I choose to believe in the latter, "Occurrences of divine providence benevolently intersect your path every day."

Then I had lunch with a set menu (starter, second plate, drink, dessert or coffee) in a cafeteria next to three grocery stores with bus stop just in front the last one I had to go to.  Being a quiet day, I had the television all for myself and it was a luxury to be served with good food, watch the TV and all for a minimum price of 10€.  This is life in Spain!

I took photos of the snow before it melted, knowing that it may take ages before the scenes can be repeated since it rarely snows in Spain.


It was a quiet day, the Spanish people, in general,  are not used to the snow and cold that they would rather stay inside their houses. But it was great for shopping, since there was no hassle and I got all my needs in a jiffy.

On the way home, I dropped by the Cultural Center to see an exhibit of a local photographer, Ivan Hidalgo.  Here are two of his photographs, that I liked best.

Life they say is an illusion.  In many countries it relates to "an alteration of the perception of reality, of something that does not exist", a dream... In Spanish, the word has a positive meaning, which is hope to achieve goals for a joyful living.  For it is illusion that gives us a reason to get up from bed every morning, that impulses us to look forward to happy events, to share our happiness and if we have pains or negative circumstances, to be able to release our tension and stay away from negative thoughts.

If Spain has something that can be exported to the world, it is its joy, humor, the happiness that radiates probably from the sun, the proximity, the ability to share with others.

Monday, January 22, 2018

International Tourism Fair in Madrid

A little over an hour by train from my place to IFEMA (InstituciĆ³n Ferial de Madrid, I was lucky to attend the International Tourism Fair in Madrid, FITUR 2018. Like every year,  this is a meeting place among great businesses and professions to  present the latest proposals, destinations and news of world tourism in Madrid.  This time it was held from 17th to 21st of January.

The scenario covered 65,500 m2 and had more than 10,000 participating companies from 165 countries and regions, with 816 exhibitors.

Each stand offered items typical of the region,  samples of their delicatessens, shopping bags, balloons, DVD documentals a ballpen as a bookmarker... but mostly catalogues and brochures.

There were several performances of songs and dancing and some fun games.  Here are some of what I saw.

A camp lodging: the bedroom...

 the toilet...
 the shower

 the living room...

The market of Morocco...

 Dance from India...
From Argentina...

From the Philippines...

From other countries...



The funny shots...

I had so much fun although I went by myself, I managed to have some photos of myself taken by those around me.The Japanese costumes  were actually with projected images on the wall and as you move, the figure also moves with you.  And you can change into 3 different costumes.

Life has a lot to offer, carpe diem...

Friday, January 05, 2018

Nativity Scenes

One of the biggest things in Spain for the Christmas holidays, aside from the colorful spectacle of lights all around the towns and cities,

are the figures of the Nativity.  Some are of life sizes specially those displayed in churches or patronized by the  City Halls. The figures are made usually of clay but also can be made from different materials such as recycled cans.  I had the opportunity to see several of them.  Not only the Holy family with the Three Wise Men are shown but also several traditional occupations and day to day scenes.  Here are some of them.

Plaza Mayor

International Nativity - Matadero