Back to this lovely city. I’ve been here twice before, almost 2 weeks the first time, during xmas two years ago, again almost 2 weeks in the beginning of my journey through Europe, in April, and now 2 complete weeks again. I bought the flight in a bad timing and it cost me about 140€, with everything included. I had my big backpack, plus my small ones, and I needed flexibility in case I changed my mind. If you’re traveling just with a small backpack and a hand bag you can get it much cheaper – the same flight would have been 80€.
It has been three months and a few days in Prague. So some last information about prices in Prague, in case you’re thinking of visiting for longer periods of time:
I love the city, to be honest. It’s warm, beautiful in details and with a lot of interesting things to see. The culture really appeals me. Having grown in Portugal I find many of its traits similar, although a different language always makes things different, or at least seem different.
I’ve been in many other places after Barcelona, in this trip, and I had been there before, about one year and half ago for about a week.
I keep on doing my regular morning meditation, Transcendental Meditation, and this is a portrait during one of the times I did it in Barcelona.
Like I said before, I think it helps striking a balance, not only because of what it does biologically (and seems to be proved, but I mean, you can find those effects in regular exercise as well) but most importantly regarding what it does in terms of your consciousness and/or psyche. It’s quite freeing in the sense that sitting with your eyes closed for 20 minutes, even though you have so many things to do and explore, sets you free from the materiality of life. And this doesn’t mean a complete disconnection from the outer world, from emotions, from life, family, friends and obligations, it just means a temporary disconnection from that plan of existence, from the idea of a Self that is constructed upon those many characteristics, narratives and layers.
So, here we are again, this time I’ll share some of the thoughts Xavi shared with me, regarding Catalonia’s independence (2nd part) and a popular assembly we went to.
On another note, I’ll add a picture of Mar Carrera and some info about her work, before Xavi’s texts.
Mar doing a Skype meeting with other members from Catalunya’s SOS Racism association.
Mar works for Pol·len Edicions as a Communication specialist. One of the books they edited is Warcelona, una història de violència, a counter-portrait of the Barcelona of tourism and leisure. A book by Jordi Borràs that shows the legal violence (State violence) used by the Catalan police against political and social dissent groups.
She also works for SOS Racisme Catalunya, a Human Rights association that fights against racism and xenophobia and fights for human rights in all the Catalan municipalities. www.sosracisme.org
In the recent 2013 Report about the state of racism in Catalonia, they showed that 40% of the racism cases they accompany (victims of racism that seek their offices to ask for legal support) are done by police forces, which is quite a significant number. Mar is also responsible for the Raising awareness activities, as well as doing some Communication tasks.
So I stayed in Madrid from the 8th till the 11th of April. I got a flight from Lisbon to Madrid, because it made a lot of sense but to fly to Barcelona was too expensive for me so I searched other ways of doing it. One of the things I also wanted to try was blablacar.com . This ride sharing platform is great and has many people enrolled. I found a ride that went from Madrid to Barcelona for 30€ with Jose Antonio. Jose is originally from the South of Spain, now lives in a small town near Barcelona, although he works for 3 days in Madrid each week.
So I asked Marina to write a small text about Madrid and here it is:
Cities tell stories about the people who live in them through their streets, buildings, squares, sounds and silences, parks, colours.
In Madrid streets are full of cars and showcases, squares are made of asphalt without any bench to sit, sounds (and noises) are so many and there’s so little silence, parks, points of rest, those things that allow us to remember what is clean and fresh air. Madrid is grey, blue, yellow, orange, red and, sometimes, so black. A city center that’s increasingly less historic and less unique: everything it has to see are shops and fast food restaurants; everything it has to do is taking photos, buy and eat. Another result of the globalization without limits.
(April’s 15th) I’m writing this as I take a beer on a street coffee right around the offices of Regus near the center of Barcelona. I will write about regus on the next post. I went there to see this business lounge but after being there a while and since it was sunny and I didn’t have to work more on the computer I went outside to enjoy the pleasant afternoon. I’ll be traveling to Lyon later today, at 11pm, through iDBus, which goes for 35€ and has wc, wifi and power sockets besides being more spacious than a regular bus. I found it a very cheap ride so I bought the ticket online instead of searching for trains or blablacar rides that would take me to France.