Monday, February 03, 2003

The Iraqi conflict is creating a bit of a stir out here. In todays most respected newspaper a poll was published showing 70% of spaniards opposed to war. Aznar, the prime minister, seems to be ignoring the public sentiment, but he is paying the price with his parties popularity crashing down to second place for the first time since they gained power about six years ago. If I´m feeling lazy or if the students have come straight from the nightclub to class, all I need do is mention Bush and they suddenly become "angry, awake, fluent english speakers."

Temperatures have gone a bit wild out here over the past few days. Shooting from 10 degrees to 22 degrees, they then peaked at 23 and within two days plummeted to -3. It didn´t seem to make any difference to the way MadrileƱos dressed, with a hat, scarf and gloves being standard issue even when the temperatures rose into the twenties. If it wasn´t for my fear of "illegal Morrocan Xenophobes in Spain", I would have strolled the streets with my shorts and blue skin.

An interesting fact that I learned this week concerns Opus Dei. Believe it or not but success wise, Opus Dei are to Madrid what the Jewish community is to NewYork. A huge number of the cities top positions in business are held by members of Opus Dei aswell as controlling the prime department stores. It is said that if you want to guarantee yourself a top flight career, joining Opus Dei is the way to go about it. Of course I presume that nobody actually does this as the movement is looked upon with great scepticism by the general public. Four of the present government ministers are members as were Francos most influential economic advisers.

I'm delighted to say that I fell into my old Dublin ways this weekend. I hit the town on friday, saturday and sunday. A great weekend by all accounts. I visited a cool salsa club with Tamaras sister aswell. After five minutes I quickly realised that this is definitely where the most beautiful women in Madrid hang out ( Naturally I have decided to become a regular ).

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