Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Interesting observations in Spain

For the 22 days in Spain, we experienced some cultural differences, and I captured a couple of interesting pictures to share with you.
Hope you enjoy it :)

1. ATM m/c behind bars.
We found this in Toledo, some 1.5 hour bus ride from Madrid.
We must put our hands inside the bars, and complete all the procedure for $ withdrawal.

It works!

2. Hostel TV thefts

I was wondering how often Spanish tourists conveniently bundle away TV sets when they check out from hotels. We found this interesting note on the wall of our hostel room. It reads:

“The price of the room does not include this TV"

That also explains why the TV set is fixed high up near the ceiling.

3. Antique Mini lift

This is the smallest lift I have used. It only takes 2 persons plus luggage. There are 2 doors which must be properly closed before it operates. Mummy always have difficulty using it.

Being quite dark inside, it's a little erie. Using it is like taking an adventure, we are always sceptical when will it breakdown.

The ride is always full of suspense. It's like going through the 'twilight Zone'.

While coming down, a maximun load of 40Kg is allowed, lest the cable may break. So we have to walk down.

Surprisingly, it works all the time.....;) Engineering technology 200 years ago must be better than now.

4. Found this fossil, clam shell (?) fused into a huge stone in the Roman walls of Tarragona. Does it mean that this stone was taken from the sea?

So this shell must have existed for more than 2200 years.

5. Water vs wine

Spain is one place where water is more expensive than wine.

Typically, Aqua, or bottled water, costs 2 Euros in restaurants, but house wine costs 1.2 to 1.5 Euros. So to mummy, why drink water?

However, after some struggle, ah girl still prefers water,hehe.

6. Everyday, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, it's siesta time in Spain. Something out of our syllabus!

Our first experience was in Gracia, northern Barcelona.

We heard of this beautiful modern town and tried to explore after lunch, but we were only greeted by these painted doors ;(

7. Bicycle crossing

Came across this sign which allows bicycle and pedestrian to cross a busy road.

If this is the practice, I was wondering in places where the bicycle sign is missing, what do cyclists do when they wanna cross?

8. Giant lock

Ah girl has always been fascinated by the big locks used in old Spanish buildings. This solid metal latch is found in the old Muslim Palace in Al'hambra of Granada. It's huge compared to her hand.

However, in olden days, Chinese houses use big wooden latches too, some as big as 5"*4" *30"long.

Some new buildings still use this kind of wooden latch. It's so much stronger than metal.

9. Sangria

This is a concoction of wine, citrus fruit juice, cinnamon, and sugar. Sound delicious?

Curious, so we ordered 2 big glasses to celebrate our first Spanish dinner in La'Rambla. However, it was horrible!

No wonder Lonely Planet writes" Bad wines are used for this drink. And only tourists drink Sangria!"

...............and I think only ONCE!

10. Fruits: No touch!

Found this note hanging in a Barcelona fruit stall. Written in Japanese, it means "please do not touch the fruits"

An insult?

Guess most Asians, not only Japanese, feel and select the fruits before they make any purchase. Some even shake it, or smell it, like buying durians back home;)

Anyway, I don't think Spanish can differentiate between Asian Chinese, Koreans or Japanese. Quite often, we have been mistaken as Japanese. I have even overheard a ticketing officer asking a Caucasian couple who do not understand Spanish the ridiculous question of " Are you Japanese? "

11. Lizard

If you think Ah girl hates lizard, you are wrong.

As you can see, she even smiles as she touches this lizard.

Like all chameleons, this reptile camouflages it's color to suit Ah girl blue attire when I take this photo:)

12. Subway doors

Doors of Metros in Spain do not open automatically. If you want to enter, or get down, you need to open or press some buttons . This photo is just one of the many types used.

Guess it's to conserve some energy during the cold winter??


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