Traveling Spain On A Pauper’s Dime With A Purpose

Here it is 7/17/2019 already. The wife has taken all of her tests and scored no less than B+. I have had several calls for job interviews offshore teaching ESL. I have walked all over Salamanca, or ridden the bus for 1.50 euros. Just for the record, there have been many days when I didn’t even spend a single dime. Most importantly of all to me, I have had time to engage in some serious writing, editing, and making submissions. I didn’t bother to count, but yesterday I made multiple submissions to individual publishers and journals. I figure there must to have been around 50 at least! Four submissions were for prizes and money grants.

Other concerns people may have might be directed toward issues of security. Salamanca appears to be crime free, from a practical point of perspective. The wife and myself have been out walking around at 2300 hrs to 0200, and we have seen old women and children playing in the streets all around. There has been no boisterous talking or imposing approaches by erratic appearing people. I have seen no rough looking people sitting around smacking their lips when we walked passed, like I have in some other places we have traveled, to include places in the US. One primary reason I attribute this to is because I have seen virtually sign of drug use among the people, and I am very well versed in the art of making these types of conclusions by the general appearance of people who are heavy into the vice. While the beer and wine here is rather heavy, cheap, and strong, and the proletariat drink it like water; out of thousands who could stand as examples, I have yet to see one who was intoxicated.

There are other reasons why the crime rate might be so low. I have no idea about how strict the laws are here in Salamanca/Spain in general, insanely harsh laws combined with hard labor prison sentences, often eliminates criminal activity. The level of brutality in Spanish prison combined with all of the above, could compel individuals to avoid condemnation. China has virtually no crime, as does Japan according to my son since I haven’t visited there, for essentially all the reasons above.

I have yet to be stopped and asked for a visa or passport display, except when I entered in a casino. This morning some police were gathered around by the bar I walk passed on my way to and fro the room where we currently reside, not one stopped to request a passport display from me, even though I am an obvious foreigner ( I never try to conceal the fact, although doing so may be a wise choice for obvious reasons). Casinos here in Spain resemble arcade rooms in the US. I simply showed the person my driver’s license however, and this seemed sufficient to quell her demanding attitude toward me. City buses do not request any sort of ID display, and neither do subways in big cities such as Madrid, for example. One simply pays his transportation costs or puts it on a card, which is more efficient. Buses going out of town via the travel agent do request passport numbers, ID, etc. If needing to avoid an ID display might be a problem for some unknowable reason, then catching a bus on ones own at the local station or hopping a cab would be a viable alternative option.

With these details in mind, staying in hostels and renting rooms do demand that one display his passport/ID details. He might be able to slide through the situation by tactfully displaying his US driver license. Should showing an ID ever become a real problem for some unknowable reason, then I guess its back to backpacking and living like a refugee, from what I can presently determine at the time of this writing. I have noticed only three people who live out their days in the large municipal park here in Salamanca. One is a guitar player, the other two are street panhandlers.

Shade is a necessity in a land where the sun shines brightly most of the time, and it seldom rains. Water spouts are available in the parks for people to use. I, myself, pack in water collected from these spouts, to save on cash, since water can cost one a euro per large bottle. These same three people are often seen sprawled out in corners on the shaded pedestrian streets in old Salamanca. At the same time there is a noticeable Gypsy population, who are obviously living somewhere outside nearby. They must be very proficient at hiding, because I have yet to spot their caravans.

Other observations might be of importance to certain readers, since fellow adventurers are among those whom I try to direct an appeal toward. The other day I walked to the park down by the Roman bridge here in Salamanca. I could not help but notice great thriving beds of cattails. If one were in a financial pinch, these could easily be collected by the bag full, since in most cases few people are out in the park; especially during midday siesta, and at night. All parts are good for food.

There are ducks in the park, which would not be difficult to collect . One must research how-to techniques for doing so on his own, since a blog is not the best place to post this type of information. When times turn difficult, as opportunity fades for reasons both self directed and imposed by the corporate accommodating authoritarians in charge of enforcing the US system; even though the laws of men may lock us out of the employment & business license market, we are still commanded by the laws of nature to provide food and shelter. In such often overwhelming negative circumstances, having access to how-to information is a virtual must.

There seems to be many eating sized fish in the river. One is at liberty to gather these in, from what I can tell. A well placed trot line would work like dynamite, I think; and the authorities here could care less, since I see locals fishing all the time, every day and every hour. People eating for free and local businesses potentially losing profit, doesn’t seem to be an authoritarian concern around here. So called “animal rights” people don’t seem to be much of a problem in Spain, when citizens at large finding viable employment is. Animal rights people need to eat to.

Big fat pigeons are everywhere, to the point that they must be viewed as a pest more than an asset. These would be a simple matter to collect, and avoiding people spotting one doing so would be a simple matter. Pigeon soup, rice, and potatoes, is certainly not bad table fare.

I also noticed huge jack rabbits near the river ( I am talking knee high in height) and on the open wooded hills late in the evening. One came out yesterday evening that I believe could have been collected with a hand thrown rock. Getting my hands on a bunny would not be a difficult matter had I tried, with all of the scrap wood, wire, etc, laying all around. Those interested in such information must research the methods of collection for themselves. Many of the Tapas we have been told, are served up with rabbit meat.

The bulls slain at the bull fights are always butchered, quartered, ground into hamburger, and sold to the restaurants; so I personally have no problem with the entertainment. I know, however, that cow (female) flesh would be much higher in quality, than the bull. Please don’t feel bad about going to the bull fights, do it when you have the opportunity. More than likely in 10-15 years the timeless custom of fighting bulls will fade into history all across Spain. The young people have lost interest, the elders are the only ones keeping it alive. We were told that many bull fighting arenas actually lost money during the past five years. If such is the true case, then one’s chances of actually seeing one in action could perish within the next five years from many areas throughout Spain. The custom has already died out in Barcelona, to my great disappointment.

In my mind, my time has been well spent. On top of all that, I must say that I have really enjoyed myself. In the end, having fun living our lives and doing what ever it is that we do, is what matters most. Big money unused along with real-estate, stays right here when our last day passes into darkness. Has anyone else ever bothered to take notice?

My venture is still not over with yet. We have three more weeks left. I would like to repeat in summary some valuable information. If one had a strictly personal reason to do so, such as creating his own writer’s retreat, stretching his retirement, etc; Spain is one nation among a number of others where he could rent a decent apartment for 400 euros a month, which equates to 2400 at 6 months, including his utilities (WiFi,electricity, water). Three thousand extra euros extra would allow him to live in relative comfort in Salamanca, which is a quasi-central location.

To put it simply; for 6000 euros a 6 month period, or 12000 euros a year, one could live relatively well in Spain, if he operated from a centralized smaller town location such as Salamanca. A small amount above that would vastly increase the quality margin of his life. Retirees bored with their home location, extended stay travelers/backpackers, people seeking a new experience in general, and others for a variety of reasons, might want to bear these details in mind. Hostels are everywhere in Spain that myself and the wife have traveled to thus far.

This euro amount would also allow him to hop a bus out of town once a week. From the beach backwards, there are a number of very interesting places to visit, especially if one is into the arts, history, wine vineyards, etc. A small amount above 6000 or 12000 euros would vastly increase a person’s level of comfort. The big city of Madrid is only a two hour bus ride away, and we have covered only a few of the many sights there. Before our return flight back to the US, we shall spend a few days more there in Madrid, so stay tuned.

In Madrid the price at the hostel is 50 euros a night, but it is possible to share rooms dividing the cost down to 25 euros, if doing so doesn’t bother a person. That being said, I honestly feel that renting a room in a centralized location is a much more efficient travel strategy than exclusively using the hostels. Hostels can offer daily work opportunities, however. While backpacking has an appeal and a certain definite advantage when used in combination with other travel strategies, living like a homeless person doesn’t to this adventurer.

Travel agencies also offer outstanding packages, if one only negotiates to a small degree. Room, breakfast, and a small localized tour can be included. One can net a weekend/three day stay for less than two days operating on his own. Once one learns how to move around, there is no doubt in my mind that his level of savings and his travel experience, would be vastly increased. Things will certainly become much more interesting as the week moves along.

Savor the blessings of life!

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