Time for another edition of random thoughts from your man in Spain.
Today we’ve got a bit about the “Caso Rubiales”, adventures with Barcelona real estate, and some thoughts about the future of this project.
Check out the other articles in the Random Thoughts series here.
Let’s get right to it…
Caso Rubiales and Spanish “machismo” culture
The “caso Rubiales” has been a big story of late, in both the Spainish and the international media.
The short version, in case you missed it: Spain’s national women’s football team won the Women’s World Cup a few weeks ago, and in following the celebration, some Spanish football bigwig grabbed a player named Jenni Hermoso and kissed her (non-consensually) on the mouth.
She complained, and controversy ensued.
Honestly, I’m a bit surprised that the story is being reported on so much, and that the media has decided to focus on the non-consensual kissing more than the actual World Cup victory, but maybe it’s better clickbait that way. Women winning a football match is only news for a couple of days, but a powerful man who turns out to be a creep could be a story for weeks or months.
(There are certainly worse cases of machismo out there that are being reported much less – this week a woman in Sevilla was decapitated, for example – allegedly by her ex. That only got two or three paragraphs in the news, though.)
Anyway, Jenni Hermoso has filed an official report denouncing Luis Rubiales (president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation) and the public prosecutor is planning to take some sort of action.
What sort of action? I’m not sure: the whole thing happened in Australia, and I don’t know what jurisdiction the Spanish courts would have. Meanwhile, Rubiales has sort of apologized, but is refusing to resign from his post, despite requests from high-ranking members of the government that he do so.
The main story, I guess, is Spain’s culture of machismo, and I’m not the right person to talk about it. As a man I don’t experience much of it. In my professional career (if you can call it that) as an English teacher, not much machismo was happening – the kind of guys who are into power trips like that don’t end up working for twelve bucks an hour in language schools.
Also, I don’t know or care about football, so don’t expect a ton of updates about this case from me, unless – of course – it gets much more interesting.
UPDATE: A day after I published this, promising limited updates, Rubiales actually resigned his post at the RFEF. Ironic, huh? Anyway, is that the end of the story? Maybe, or maybe not.
Moving on to more productive things…
Real estate in Barcelona is always an adventure
Morena and I have been looking around at houses recently.
I was never a fan of the idea of buying a house, but turning 40 has really gone to my head. At some point I realized that if I don’t buy something soon, eventually I’m going to be looking for a new rental at age 50, or 60, or 70 – and that sounds quite a bit less fun.
Also, rent prices here in Barcelona are only going up and up. The new Ley de Vivienda – which I mentioned briefly in my article about okupas – has had the effect of getting some number of landlords to take their properties off the market, reducing the available supply. And while the prices to buy are also going up, it’s at a much slower rate than rentals.
We got our current place in December 2020, at Covid prices, and the landlord has since suggested we leave multiple times – so we’re aware that we’re never going to find a place at this price again…
Unless we buy one. Because it turns out that the rumors are true: buying can be cheaper than renting – at least once you get past the crippling downpayment and 10% property tax.
We’ve seen a place we like, and I’ll surely be updating you about that situation, if the deal goes through. If not, some other deal will, and I’ll probably have plenty to say about bureaucracy, buying furniture, paying a mortgage, and other adult topics.
The future of the Chorizo Chronicles (and Spain to Go)
I often wake up in the morning, roll out of bed, and over coffee, think to myself: “What the fuck am I doing with my life? Forty years old and writing a travel blog for no money…”
I have a business, of course, – also blog-based – check out my site aprendemasingles.com if you want to learn some English, or buy my books on Amazon. But that doesn’t take too much time these days, and I’m struggling to figure out what else to do.
Writing here, in English, is a good exercise for me, and it allows me to follow my curiosity. It also gives me another excuse to buy more books and spend time wandering around taking pictures of stuff and thinking about life, all the while deluding myself that I’m doing some kind of “work”.
But like I said, it’s unpaid. If you enjoy what I’m doing, please donate.
As you may have noticed, these articles are getting longer and more involved. And I’m getting some good feedback on the new direction I’m taking. That said, publishing online is often like standing on quicksand – all the algorithms could change tomorrow, and I’d be out an audience.
So as for the future, I’m not really sure. I’ve got a podcast that’s slowly gaining listeners. I don’t talk about it much here on the blog, but it’s called Spain to Go, and a lot of the articles I write also end up as episodes over there. It’s on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify and on a lot of other places.
Please review, subscribe, and tell your friends!
Incidentally, this article is going to be episode 50 over there, which is pretty good. There’s a statistic I hear from podcasting people – I don’t know how rigorous the study was, but it amounts to the idea that 90% of podcasts don’t make it past three episodes, and 99% of podcasts never make it to episode 20. Reaching 50 must mean I’m pretty serious about this whole thing.
So I’m looking forward to doing more here, and to taking you along on this journey, wherever it goes. If you have ideas for articles or podcast episodes you think I should do, please send me a message. Or just leave a comment below.
Either way, I appreciate you being here.
Daniel AKA Mr Chorizo.
P.S. In my advanced age, I’ve largely outgrown list posts, but if you’d like, here’s a bit about the Top 5 Spanish Stereotypes, and 32 Things I Love about Spain. And if you’re not in the mood for that, maybe you could check out 4 Things I Hate about Spain. Enjoy!
P.P.S. Update, November 2023: Okay, Morena and I are finished buying that house we liked. Here’s a full report on buying a flat in Spain, hot off the presses. Enjoy!