Coming back from Spain, most aircos are off.
The (quasi) holiday in Spain is over. Weather is much nicer here.
Honestly, I prefer to stay at the place I call home. I dislike being at the places that you're supposed to visit on each major city, refuse to take selfies—and don't take that many pics, in general. Touristic places packed with people, all doing the same thing, is, monotonous. It is surprising how the gear has evolved over the last years, selfie sticks have now more electronics in it. Smarter devices that make us dumber.
What I do like about travelling is meeting random people in the most unexpected places and have short but meaningful conversations. Let's be clear, I am not good at talking to strangers, but sometimes it just happens. For instance, people still get really curious about my vibram five fingers and sometimes when someone asks what is that? (or are you wearing socks?) I take advantage of the opportunity to talk a bit more. But those occasions are unusual. Most of the time is older people who start the conversation without going into my weird shoes.
Conversations with strangers happened this time, but that's material for future posts, maybe.
What I'm going to write is about the air conditioning, or the lack of thereof.
In my previous visits to Spain, when you entered any bar or store during summer, the air conditioning was at its fullest (like, 37 °C outside, 21 °C inside). Not this year. Only a few places had the airco on, and not working at full steam.
It is clear energy prices hike are making a dent in ordinary people and small businesses. When I was drinking a caña in a place, the bartender said to the regulars: “with this energy problems, we will have to charge €0.2 extra if you want ice in your drink at some point” (cursing removed in the translation). Surreptitiously overhear bar conversations gives you a better sense of the actual state of affairs than watching the news or reading the paper.
In the meantime, politicians (partially) responsible for everything that is going on don't feel the pain. If food prices rise by 30%, they won't even notice. If there are wars—and there is always a war somewhere—they are holding Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman Corp stocks. They go around in their private jets with air conditioning on and face masks off.
Anyway. At the end of the day, we humans are greedy. I can't claim to be morally superior to any of those politicians I despise, if I were in their shoes, maybe I would behave similarly.
But the underlying corrupt system that enables all this—from unaccountable wealthy politicians to economic crises unevenly affecting people's lives—is changing. But changing how? Is it (finally) collapsing, or just changing skin?