After spending a couple of months in non-English speaking countries, there’s something oddly comforting about removing that struggle.
I’m glad I’m only here for a few days, because this city will straight-up bankrupt me. Everything is so expensive here, it’s nuts. Most things seem to cost two or three times more than you’d think they would.
Thought Number One: After the bewildering nightmare of trying to get anywhere via bus or subway in Italy, taking public transit here is an absolute pleasure. Everything is clearly labeled, there are maps everywhere, and when you’re on the bus, all of the stops are spelled out and called out, so it’s always absolutely clear where you are. It’s pretty much the polar opposite of Italy, and it’s amazing.
In what I have to assume is fallout from all of the terrorist shenanigans in Europe over the last few years, there are soldiers pretty much everywhere in Rome.
Note: Thanks to a bunch of terrorist douchebags, the chronology of this blog is a bit messed up. This and the next few posts were actually written before that whole fiasco, which is why this is written as though I’m still in Zaragoza.
I wound up in Zaragoza pretty much at random; the initial plan was to go to San Sebastian between Madrid and Barcelona. It turns out I’m a cheapo and can’t afford San Sebastian, so plan B it is: spending a few nights in Zaragoza, a medium-sized city about halfway between Madrid and Barcelona.
It’s not exactly the first place place you think of when you visit Spain (I hadn’t even heard of it until recently), but I’m actually quite enjoying my time here.
Since I began my travels, I’ve gone to a few movies. Now, I know what you’re thinking: you traveled halfway around the world just to go to the movies?? Well:
- Going to the movies is a huge part of my life. Always has been, always will be.
- When you’re walking around all day in the heat, there comes a point — usually around 3:00 or 4:00 — when you just wanna sit down in an air conditioned room for a couple of hours.
- Don’t judge the way I live my life, man.
So here’s a weird thing about the subway system here in Porto: it seems to be run on the honour system. There are no gates anywhere; there are machines to load up your swipe card with the fare for a ride, and there’s these little card scanners around each station that (I think) you’re supposed to swipe before you get on a train and when you transfer, but that’s it. I’ve never actually seen anyone confirming that passengers have paid their fare. It’s weird.