Is Spain Collapsing?

When I go to Spain now, I keep thinking about all the strange things that are happening over there. We already know that Halloween is now in vogue and Thanksgiving has already started to show its head. I saw several restaurants that were advertising it in their menus. I hear words I don’t recognize or I had never used before. This last time, the key word was collapsed. Everything in the country was “colapsado.” Just looking at the headlines in the Spanish newspaper, El País, I read that without immigrants the economy would have collapsed:

Sin inmigrantes España habría colapsado

The fact is that even with immigrants, the nation has collapsed thanks to the economic crisis:

El colapso de una nación

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ex President Aznar stated that the Spanish Constitution was on the verge of institutional collapse.
Small business can go from success to collapse in just a few days due to viral advertisements on the web:

Del éxito al colapso en cuestión de días: cuando un pequeño comercio se vuelve viral

The highways and the Madrid subway have collapsed with the record rains in the capital:

Colapso en las carreteras y Metro de Madrid tras batirse el récord de lluvia en la capital

This I had a chance to see, torrents of rain water falling into the subway’s stairs like something out of Disney’s Fantasia.
To go on vacation can create a collapsed situation due to “influencers” on the web:

Ir de vacaciones al colapso

The collapse discourse divides the people talking about climate change:

El discurso del colapso divide a los ambientalistas

Collapse has reached the homes because the number of connected gadgets and data traffic:

El wifi de la mayoría de los hogares se enfrenta al colapso por el aumento de dispositivos conectados y el tráfico de datos

Hospitals like La Paz have seen their emergency rooms collapsed:

Solución exprés al colapso en urgencias en La Paz

Anthropologists like Emilio Santiago blame the “collapsists” for placing ecology in a dead-end street:

Emilio Santiago, antropólogo: “Los discursos colapsistas meten al ecologismo en un callejón político sin salida”

You get the point, everything was collapsing and the political right will blame the left as long as it is in power, an editorial comment states with only this word for its title:


Some of the changes taking place in Spain are very much welcome. Not only are major streets in the center of Madrid closed to non-electric cars, but on Sundays boulevards like Paseo del Prado and Castellana are open for pedestrians only. On the last day I was in Madrid, a Sunday, I wasn’t surprised when I saw them closed. I continued walking to Plaza Cibeles, up Calle de Alcalá to Puerta del Sol, every street was closed to traffic. I would have to walk all the way to the new museum next to the Royal Palace, Galería de las Colecciones Reales. Could it be that the entire city had collapsed for real?

No. As soon as I arrived to Puerta del Sol, I saw something even more unbelievable: thousands of sheep had taken over the middle of the streets. Shepherds with walking sticks kept them in line. There was a procession of musicians singing, women dancing in regional costumes, all following the sheep as far as my eyes could see. The streets were full of families, young and old, tourists and people like me, looking around in disbelief.

We were watching the Trashumancia (Transhumance) the passage of herds from northern Spain to the south, in search of green pastures before the snows rrived. King Alfonso X started what gave birth to this tradition around 1273. How come I had never seen this? I didn’t even know the word, Trashumancia. It exists in many countries of Africa and Latin America as well. It is an ecological and economic phenomenon. I had to wait to get back in the hotel to read all about it in Wikipedia!

I was hoping American Airlines had not collapsed and I could fly back to the States the next day as I was supposed to. Well, at that moment I wasn’t even sure I wanted to leave. What a country!

2 Responses to Is Spain Collapsing?

  1. Ramona says:

    This is so interesting. I so enjoyed the description of the Trashumancia. In the midwest, where i originated, the cattle are herded from the pastures in which they have been grazing all summer to the fenced yards around the barn and closer to the house where,when the snow flies, they will need to be fed from bales of hay . The moving of the herds of cattle is similar to the trashhumancia you describe, but on a scale much smaller, with cattle herded down gravel roads. It is a community effort with people stationed at intersections to be certain that no animal strays down the wrong road.
    The costumes of the people lining the streets of Madrid for this event are beautiful, and I wish I had heard the singing. Were the songs familiar to you?.
    I am glad that there was no colapso for American Airlines, and that you are back with us.