Mi Bodeguita del Medio

While my blog is named after a restaurant in Havana I hope to someday visit, here you will find musings, rants, political incorrectness, thoughts on Indian Nationalism, strong straight-forward opinions and tid-bits.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Horror

With the arrival of summer, Spain sees the return of BLOOD FESTIVALS. Summer is here and as much as most of us look forward to this time of year to enjoy the sun, the sand, beaches and the outdoors, lets try not to forget the less fortunate ones for whom this period is very very far from celebration.

Many Spanish villages each summer begin their "festivities" by torture, humiliation and finally slow death of bulls, goats and other non-humans victims. The idea of "fun" for many in this country, including people with secondary "education," includes un-speakable barbarities and enjoyment from the pain and suffering of others. Sadistic? Do these people have massive Sadistic Personality Disorders? Are they mentally deranged? Let alone allow these barbaric traditions, how do they enjoy them?

What is Sadistic Personality Disorder?

Wikipidea Definition: a pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning, and aggressive behavior, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by the repeated occurrence of at least four of the following:

  • Has used physical cruelty or violence for the purpose of establishing dominance in a relationship (not merely to achieve some noninterpersonal goal, such as striking someone in order to rob him/her).
  • Humiliates or demeans people in the presence of others.
  • Has treated or disciplined someone under his/her control unusually harshly.
  • Is amused by, or takes pleasure in, the psychological or physical suffering of others (including animals).
  • Has lied for the purpose of harming or inflicting pain on others (not merely to achieve some other goal). Gets other people to do what he/she wants by frightening them (through intimidation or even terror).
  • Restricts the autonomy of people with whom he or she has a close relationship, e.g., will not let spouse leave the house unaccompanied or permit teenage daughter to attend social functions.
  • Is fascinated by violence, weapons, injury, or torture.

I have come across people that enjoy and defend bullfights. Although I didnt get to know them personally (completely intentional), I can comfortably state that these people would display some of the above characteristics. Moreover, these are the same characteristics that serial killers, rapists, child molesters demonstrate. Shouldn't somebody conduct a scientific study of the link between abusing 3rd parties and crime?

I recently discovered a journalist called César Javier Palacios whose article Crónica Verde appears in the free daily "20 minutos" in Spain. I'd like to link to his recent work here, for those who are interested.

On my behalf, all I can say is, I'm delighted that summer is here; however, seeing things from where I am, its sometimes hard to believe that I'm living in 21st century Europe.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Only in Spain...

...will you get to see the words "whore" and "slut" in the headline news. Talking about freedom of press...

Work Life Balance

I've been working almost 11 hours straight over the last few weeks. I may be about to lose my (in) sanity. Any tips on keeping healthy and sane?

Monday, June 2, 2008


Dad sent me a joke today by email. Its called "Appraisals and Increments;" here it is.

I'm wondering, if any of my ISM buddies are around- could you read this text without getting frustrated? How about in less then 5 minutes? I can't, and unfortunately didn't decipher the joke.

PS. U might have to click on the text to make it a readable size if too small.

The New Barcelona

The Asian diaspora in Barcelona is now not only seen in the Raval, but all around town. Next to my office, in what could be classified as the business area of the city (Diagonal), there is a Bangladeshi store that sells yummy aloo samosas for 1€, although the price seems criminal for what in Oman used to cost me - mind you, an aloo samosa double the size and double the taste - only 50bz, which amounts to a grand .10 €, only ten times less. However I try not to think of that when I enter that Bangladeshi's store and buy samosas for breakfast on days I feel like treating myself. Back to Asians in Bcn, its commonplace to see Pakistani and possibly Indian, Punjabi guys walking around town, on the buses, in the metro. Many a times they look at me, some recognizing that I'm one of theirs, while others don't. I wear my hair local style with long bangs, and can easily pass for a Brazilian or even Moroccan, Arab, Tunisian, eh you get the point.

However, I do get the biggest kick when I walk into Desi/Paki/Bangadeshi stores and upon greeting me with an "hola" they get a "namaste" in return, and thats me jumping over to Hindi. They get a pleasant shock, continue the conversation, while trying not to let their smiles be too obvious. I love keeping a straight face and pretending that the most normal thing in the world when one enters a shop in Barcelona, is to speak Hindi. Then, just before they can ask where I'm from and whether I live here, etc., I say thanks and walk out of there, leaving them slightly puzzled.

When I have a lot of time on my hands though, or when feeling homesick with a desire to speak my language, I will walk these streets, engaging in conversations about my entire life and how I've ended up in Spain. Usually turns out that many of the Pakistanis have lived in the Gulf (either UAE, Qatar or Saudi Arabia) before moving here. What this brief exchange gives them, I guess, is a temporary escape from monotony, and what it gives me is a temporary feeling of home.