Salamanca Travel Blog› entry 45 of 62 › view all entries
July 18th, 2008 – by: mkrh
Over the last weekend the temps went up - very hot. In Salamanca it was about 40 and when we returned from the Saturday trip to Burgos (where it was only 34 in the middle of the afternoon) at 12.30am on the train we walked through the streets home and could feel the heat flooding out of the pavement it was then 33 in Salamanca.
Sometimes it is the little things that have grabbed my attention, things like pedestrian crossings. When I passed through Seoul the pedestrian crossings had a dividing line down the middle and an arrow indicating which side you should walk on. In Spain I have seen pedestrian crossings 70-100 metres wide in the plazas. The pedestrian crossings in most cities have a second counter showing how long you have left to cross the street. But I will never understand the sign and the traffic lights. I have been here just on 11 weeks and I have looked at the lights and tried to figure out which ones they use and what they mean but it is a complete mystery to me. The other week in class we had an exercise with street and traffic signs. I got most of them wrong. Luckily I am not driving here.
Things I have learnt about walking down the street. It is better to walk on the right hand side in general because I think that is the side of the road they drive on. When I used to walk down the road and I need to get past someone walking the other way I would move to the left and walk in to them It has taken a while but I move to the right and walk the footpath much better.
Abbreviations can be confusing because we use an abbreviation in the English speaking world it does not mean that others will use them too here are some examples:
USA is EE.UU
AIDS is SIDA
Olympic Games is JJ.OO
United Nations is ONU
European Union is UE.
I have done a lot of Travelling in Spain and my view is that the country is being rebuilt totally. It seems that wherever you go there are major constructions works on the roads and I do not mean small diversions I mean massive redirections of all the roads.
The economic crisis for the world is discussed much here. The president and the government have been criticised for having there heads in the sand and denying that there is a crisis. But the economic stats came out last week and they finally admitted somethings were not quite right.
The festival of the running of the bulls in Pamplona occupied the TV every morning at 8 for over a week. About a half hour show with all the ´highlights´ who got hit, repeats, guest panel of the day discussing what happened how it happened.
I read in the local paper here that Salamantinos consider themselves to be non-smokers if they smoke less than 10 cigarettes a day. There is a different approach to smoking and I feel after 10 weeks here in Spain I have done all the passive smoking I need for the rest of my life.
It is amazing to me the amount of street cleaning that takes place and the types of apparatus they have to clean the streets... Yet it also seems to me that Spain has more graffitti than anything I have seen in NZ. If it does not move it has graffitti on it and this includes historical monuments. Some of it is trite, some very clever, some famous poetry, some clever artwork - but the most obvious is that it is everywhere
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