Trips to Catalonia

Catalonia is the triangular, Maryland-sized “autonomous community” that defines mainland Spain’s northeast corner. Its capital, Barcelona, attracts visitors from around the globe. Girona, Figueres, Lérida and other Catalonia urbs get less international attention. Catalans speak Spanish, even if some wish they didn’t, and a language of their own: Catalan, the mother tongue of roughly a…

Madrid Late Pandemic

Madrid’s subway is now sometimes crowded. Not as crowded as before the pandemic, true; I haven’t wriggled aboard a stuffed-to-the-stanchions car since early 2020, never now see riders forced to disembark to allow others to get off, as described in my first pandemic post. Official stats claim only 61.2% of pre-pandemic ridership. But, sometimes, crowded.…

I have a Covid-19 vaccine appointment in Madrid

(First, huge thanks to fellow expat Jim Forbes for passing along this information. I had given up hope.) Comunidad.Madrid now permits elderly vaccine seekers to book appointments online! Here’s how: (♦) Go to https://www.comunidad.madrid/covid-19 (♦) Scroll past the likely-familiar text on this page until you discover an unfamiliar gray rectangular box: (Para colectivos especificos means ‘for…

Spain expats: will we get a Covid vaccine?

5/4/2021: Please see the unhappy update at post end.  I’ll update again if I learn more. 5/27/2021:  I have an appointment!  Please see:  https://transitophile.com/chango/covid-19-vaccine-for-expats-in-madrid/ I write to share the little I know. Or think I know. Will your embassy help? Mine won’t. Neither will the UK, Australia or New Zealand embassies, if it’s any consolation.…

Europe’s Many Lingoes

“My God, these people are speaking Gallego!” These were the thoughts that ran through this not-entirely-acculturated Yankee’s noggin while waiting my turn at the Día Basquiños supermarket in Santiago de Compostela. I hadn’t eaten since morning, had wandered far from the tourist quarter in search of a vendor that would sell staples to lug back…