Besides the wine and the tapas and Spanish beer which may be the first beer I’ve actually enjoyed in my life, and the polpo….
Yes, there are non-food related things that I like about Spain.
First- municipal recycling.
While it is different in each of the three cities that I visited, it is clear that the population is committed to recycling. In Madrid, bins for paper and glass are on the street, and individuals put their recycling in these bins. Plastic and metal is handled by each portero of the buildings.
In Cordoba, where the streets are super skinny and winding, there are centrally located bins every couple of blocks for paper, plastic and metal, glass, trash, AND organic waste. The city has municipal composting for all kinds of organic matter, not just yard materials (I have a hard time calling that waste). In Granada it was less obvious, but in the plazas you will find large bins for paper and glass.
Second – plumbing.
Bidets are a wonderful thing and every home should have one.
Third – public transportation
I have never waited more than five minutes for a train or ten minutes for a bus. On the bus in Granada, the driver will sell you a ticket and give you change. On the train in Madrid, the doors only open if you press a button. Imagine how much longer a train would last if every moving part didn’t have to move at each stop. I can easily get to the airport by public transportation. Why is that impossible in many US cities? Trains and buses are clean. They are fast. I took high speed rail to Toledo and Cordoba. Why do we not have high speed rail in the US? Are we stupid?
So, there are many things that I will miss about Spain. These are just three.
And I hope to come back. Soon.