Author Archives: Tim Adams

Madrid Impressions: Round Four

… or ‘Spain Impressions’ this time around, and you just might see a “Round Twenty-Five” post in the years to come. So much here is new to me. I grew up and grew gray in California, feel entitled to judge U.S. life from the inside out. In Spain, I grasp at threads of a plot […]

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Bucharest: First Impressions

Traffic. Fifth worst urban traffic on Planet Earth, according to the TomTom global traffic index. Visit and you’ll learn why. Picture Venice Boulevard in L.A., or maybe Wilshire. Grant yourself godlike powers. Add a couple of lanes, dirty it up, kill most of the median landscaping. Plug in guaranteed-to-gridlock traffic circles, antiquated signaling. Hoist this […]

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Rail Day Trips from Madrid

You’re coming to Spain! You want to stroll among the beautiful people on Calle Arenal, ponder Madrazo at the Prado, chug-a-lug calimochos in Latina, black out in a Malasaña patrol car. But, before or after your well-deserved arrest, you’d like to sample the Spanish rail system, too, and book a day trip. Maybe you’ll find an […]

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Explaining the American Accent

Europeans often recognize Yankee tourists for a trait that we Yanks often don’t know we possess: our American accents. I have one. Nearly everyone I knew in the U.S. — in high school, kollidge, beyond — had one. But, many Americans don’t know they’ve got ’em. Regional accents exist, sure: Southern, New England, New York […]

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More than a Year with Linux

I write in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack, which has infected nearly a quarter of a million Windows PCs worldwide. Many victims must now be casting wistful eyes at alternative computer operating systems: Apple’s macOS, or the non-proprietary, lesser-known GNU/Linux. I haven’t used macOS since the 1980s, can’t plug or pan. I post […]

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Madrid Impressions: Round Three

Spain has worked out well for me. I might never make tenure track at Instituto Cervantes, but navigate chats in español far more adroitly than when I arrived last summer. I’ve made new friends, hope to stay put. I stand by ‘impressions’ rounds one and two, but will humbly judge this latest contribution to be […]

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Spain Expat Odds and Ends

Or, a round-up of heretofore unmentioned tips for expats and expats-to-be: MAIL AND DELIVERIES Almost everything I once ordered through amazon.com stateside is available through amazon.es in Spain. I use the same account and log-in, have received deliveries without incident. An amazon.es CSR called to verify bonafides for my first order. I missed a couple […]

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I introduce Madrid Cercanías commuter rail

Zurich, Berlin, Copenhagen and Munich have their S-trains. Parisians ride the RER; Long Islanders, the LIRR. Torontonians brave snowdrifts on the GO, perhaps while grunting ‘Eh?’ at one another after maple syrup-sogged moose chases. (I haven’t visited Canada in awhile.) Commuter rail is the inadequate and often misleading moniker for transit services of this type. Bigger […]

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Conversations with Techies

I joined many public hikes in San Francisco, and while thus wholesomely engaged often found myself talking shop with techies: querying a coder about the merits of Java, C, Python while we panted our way up Bernal hill, or absorbing security tips from a sysadmin under the Lands’ End cypress boughs. Two reasons why: IT […]

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Spanish as Spoken in Spain

Madrid is 4,975 miles from Bogotá, 5,600 miles from Mexico City, 6,200 miles from Buenos Aires. The lingo may have originated in España, but regional differences have evolved among the 400+ million speakers worldwide. I have encountered some in Spain, post this New Year’s Day to tell the tale. Expect little of interest if your […]

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