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Europe bad and good

SPAIN: You need a lot of patience in many restaurants

Culture, Europe bad and good By 10 September, 2016 No Comments

Saturday evening in Madrid. I was thrilled.  At long last and after several fruitless attempts I had managed to get a table at a much praised restaurant in a trendy part of town. The elaborate menu promised an unforgetable experience… Two hours later I left the restaurant having eaten some fabulous food, but with no intention of recommending the place. What went wrong? Well, pretty much everything except for the food.

GERMAN CULTURE: What strikes a Spaniard?

Culture, Europe bad and good By 13 August, 2016 No Comments

by Stefanie Claudia Müller, Madrid

Begoña Quesada  is a Spanish journalist and writer who worked for many years in International politics. Even though she belongs to a very educated part of the Spanish society it is difficuilt for her, just as for everyone,   to  not see another country through stereotypes. The young mother lives with her family in Munich where life  even for somone from Cologne can be very different. In that sense “Alemania, el país imprescindible” plays with old clichés which  we relate to Germany like the obsession to plan everything and the eagerness to work well, but there are also some interesting and deeper insights about the German culture apart from these already very much described stereotypes that make this book valuable to read.

CROWDFARMING: A Spanish example with bees

Europe bad and good By 29 July, 2016 No Comments

by Anna Wanninger 

During the past 10 to 15 years beekeepers across the globe have detected a remarkable decrease of the bee population. In North America, the region with the most significant decline, this phenomenon is referred to as “Colony Collapse Disorder”. Having a closer look at Western Europe, we find France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain among the most affected countries.

SPAIN: The culture of lying

Culture, Europe bad and good By 22 June, 2016 No Comments

by Hillmann Hollister and Stefanie Claudia Müller

The Hispanic world nurtures a certain hypocritical culture, a mix of educated discretion and a lack of validity. In the work force in Spain and Latin America it is difficult to tell if someone is saying “no” or if they’re saying “I can’t”. One will always find an indirect manner to say no. Lying is ugly, but the absence of the truth is healthy and convenient for many Hispanics. And even though it pains us to realize it, we have to lie or hide the truth so that we don’t hurt people and so that they respect us as well, because this is another: If I say it they will say it back to me situation. For this reason, it’s necessary to be polite sometimes. This is the “made in Spain” form of lying.

SPANISH POLITICS: Untangling the web

Europe bad and good, Jobs, Living By 16 June, 2016 No Comments

By Hillman Hollister

I used to think that American politics were complicated—then I came to Spain. Here there are numerous political parties (none of which has been able to win a majority), whispers of a corrupt political elite, and parts of Spain which don’t even want to be parts of Spain. On the 26th of June, the country is set to engage in yet another round of elections to determine its next ruling party. This is the second election in the past seven months, and it seems as though Spaniards are just about filled to the brim with politics. With four major political parties competing for votes, there certainly is a lot to talk about.