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The Quality of Life

     A previous posting said that TV gives the impression that the world is mad. Perhaps it is, to judge by "progress" in Spain. When I cycled around Spain in 1934-5, the roads were passable, but there were no freeways. Life moved along placidly, with the help of the siesta, and paseos around the town square provided the day's excitement.
     Now Spain has an impressive network of freeways. Millions of Spaniards celebrated Easter by crowding their automobiles onto the freeways, most heading toward Andalusia, spending hours in traffic jams and being killed by the hundreds. The weather was miserable.
     This weekend is May Day weekend, so the same people jumped into their cars again in the same weather with the same results. In and around Seville they savored the same delights: a festival in honor of the Virgin of I forget what, a bullfight in which a young bullfighter was tossed in the air and trampled on by a bull displeased by his rudeness (serve him right!), and by an international motorcycle rally in which 50,000 of them competed noisily, a Spanish winner being hailed as a national hero. On Monday night all will head home again. They should have stayed home, enjoying the siesta and the paseo, or getting exercise by walking in May Day parades. Statistics show that Spaniards are generally overweight.

Ronald Hilton - 4/30/00