I just got back last night from a weeklong trip to Spain. It was a wonderful time with great company, good food and awe inspiring sights to see. It has been over 20 years since I was last in Europe, but I came back with the same feeling this time as I did the first time and I will explain it in a story.
On Tuesday during a group lunch, we were at a lovely restaurant in downtown Barcelona. The protocol in Spain is to have wine with lunch, but there were some in our party who did not want wine, and asked for Coke instead. A perfectly normal request right? Our waiter just had a fit, and at first refused to bring Cokes, to the point where our travel agent had to intervene with the waiter. Our agent came by a bit later and was telling us that this particular restaurant only sold Coke as part of a mixed drink and they did not have a bunch of it around. Our agent made a comment that stuck with me, he said, “I had to remind the restaurant that we are Americans and we are used to having plenty of everything”.
Spain is a modern progressive country as are most in Europe and elsewhere in the world, but they don’t have plenty of anything and you are reminded of it daily. Even in a five star hotel, you can’t take a hot shower, a warm one to be sure, but not a hot one. The toilets are all water conserving toilets, the cars are small to fit into the tight spaces and narrow streets, the lights in your hotel room are dim and you only have a few choices for anything at a grocery store.
We live in the greatest country in the world, and I never talk to anyone who has travelled overseas who disagrees with me on that, we have abundance everywhere and almost unlimited choices for everything. We are the hardest working people and the most productive and I want you all to know that, to remember that, and to be proud of that. I hope you all are thankful to live here, and if you think not, you don’t have to travel very far to find out.
Have a great weekend everybody.