As we all know, Spain is going through some tough times, or as my students say “estamos en crisis!” Well, today was the general strike in Madrid and other cities across Spain participated. Just about everything in Madrid shut down. There were demonstrations and a lil bit of destruction. But like many others who didn’t want to lose their jobs, I went to work. I went for the kids because if I didn’t go and most of the teachers didn’t show then what would they do with these kids?
The metros were impossible so I walked to my train station and caught one of the few trains out of the city; the stations were already full with protesters. When I arrived at my school, it was dead. In the end, about 30 kids showed (mostly infantil) and a handful of teachers/administrators. I stayed most of the day and worked with the kids but after the 2 hour lunch break even less students returned so I headed home early.
The wait for the train home seemed like forever. When I made it back to the city the streets were deserted, no commuters, no shoppers, no protesters, nobody; it was incredibly strange for this time of day, although very similar to a typical Sunday morning at 8am here. The only difference was the massive amount of stickers and flyers plastered throughout the city, the burned and smashed in ATMs, the incessant amount of graffiti expressing aggravation towards the government and banks, burning garbage bins and trash everywhere. Tomorrow will be another tough workday for the sanitation workers.