Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day Mayday

It's a holiday again in Sevilla. Well, this time it's a holiday in many parts of the world. Many countries observe May Day as International Workers' Day. Here it's called Día del Trabajador (Workers' Day or Labor Day). In 1977, after the end of the Franco regime, it became an official national holiday traditionally used by trade unions and parties for social and labor change. There are protests all over the country (especially this year due to the economic crisis, which is causing the government to cut funding for education, healthcare, workers' compensation, and much more).

 
The street in front of the government building on our plaza is cordoned off and being monitored by three teams of police. So far, the protest hasn't reached us. I took a walk over to Plaza de la Encarnación (home of the Metropol Parasol) to find a large, peaceful demonstration. I took some pictures and decided to make my exit. I'm a guest in this country and I like it here. I don't want to get caught in the middle of anything that could get me booted out. So, I strolled back-streets to reach my new favorite restaurant/café where I wet my parched whistle with a small glass of sherry. I'll tell you all about that tomorrow.

 
 
 

19 comments:

  1. Hello Mitch:
    Well, although we think of Budapest as the city of protests as there seems to be one nearly every day, today it has been 'All Quiet on the Eastern Front'.

    As you say, as guests in the countries in which we live, we too feel that it is unwise to become too closely involved with political demonstrations. There are enormous problems all over Europe, we are afraid to say, but somehow the old adage of only spending what you can afford does not seem to have been adhered to in the days of plenty and now the results are only too apparent.

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    1. J&L:
      The problems are so complex (and have been building for so long) and any solution is going to be so painful that I don't expect this to be a very easy year for most people, no matter the country. I'm grateful to be here and I look forward to better times. In the meantime, I will definitely keep a safe distance from any protests.

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  2. Take care and keep your head down.

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  3. Wet your whistle with sherry? What time of the day was this Mitch? (just teasing)

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    1. Elaine:
      It's always after 5 somewhere in the world. In my case today, it was a little past 4. So, not bad. (But when you don't finish breakfast until noon...)

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  4. Democracy at its best! I just LOVE that colourful government building in your plaza! What a great thing to wake up to!

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    1. Jim:
      It's easy to spot the government buildings. Most are painted in exactly that way.

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  5. There is never a dull moment in Sevilla! I think I'd be exhausted by the pace of life there. Glad you can keep up with satisfying the interests of your many bloggie followers!

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Ah. yes, the frenetic pace and all the obligations! Sleep until 9 or 10. Breakfast until noon. Take a stroll. Go out for lunch. Have a siesta. Take pictures. Blog. Study Spanish. (We're now trying to get some structure back into our lives.)

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  6. Sounds exciting! What is that neat criss-crossed structure in the background? :)

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    1. Wrtier:
      That structure is called Metropol Parasol. I wrote about it right after we arrived in July, which was before you and I connected. Here's that link. I think you'll really like it: http://mitchellismoving.blogspot.com.es/2011/07/metropol-parasol-and-finding-home.html

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  7. And we in France have the added bonus of a presidential election on Sunday. So May Day was full of all kinds of political shenanigans. Ugh, please let it be over!

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Political shenanigans are the some all over, aren't they (well, when you compare "free" societies). I hope France isn't as TV advertising heavy as the US!

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    2. No, nowhere near it. In fact, the campaign is fairly regulated to ensure that there is equal time given to each candidate. And the best part? There is no campaigning or interviews or tv time allowed for 36 hours before the voting starts.

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  8. Mitch!

    Even with all those protestors it still looks lovely there.

    I'd LOVE to visit Spain one day.

    You are so very lucky.

    -Dean

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    1. Dean:
      I sometimes feel the need to pinch myself. It is an amazing experience and what we've seen of Spain so far is wonderful.

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  9. The "party" never stops there, does it!
    If I were you, I'd send them all to bed without a snack. Wait, I mean, if you were me. I'm sure that makes sense somehow!
    m.

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    1. Mark:
      And if I were you, I'd be confused, too!

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