By James A. Michener
Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections
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Extra info for Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections
But you will talk about this everywhere in Spain and word will filter out to many people. And they’ll say, “See! ” Your Iberia 58 loss will do much good, my friend. ’ That is why, throughout Spain one sees so many members of the Guardia Civil, always in pairs, as I had seen them in Teruel. No truth in Spain is more difficult for the traveler to ascertain than that regarding these men, who are in effect the masters of rural Spain and men of tremendous power in all society. I shall recite seven stories for which I can personally vouch, having either witnessed the incident or known the persons involved.
As to the girls, they looked exactly like girls of similar age in New York or London. They wore the same amount of make-up, the same length of dress, the same hairdos. They giggled in the same way at private jokes, and when they walked with young men they held hands and sometimes kissed in public. If the young women gave no signs of being Spanish, certain of the older women did, but only because they wore much more black than I would have found in England or America. Young men looked exactly like their cousins around the western world.
In the morning I set out to visit random stores to see for myself what it would cost a Spaniard to live in Badajoz as compared with what I paid at home. A. 29 When one considers that the average wage in Spain is sharply lower than that in the United States, these prices are on the high side, but remember that recurring costs like food and lodging are much cheaper in Spain. Also, practically anything available anywhere in the world is available in Spain. I saw Norwegian sweaters, Italian shoes, Argentinian wool, German scissors and French encyclopedias—all within a few minutes.
Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections by James A. Michener