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From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Condom Campaign [ Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 17:03 ]
[My Location |el Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |calmcalm]
[My Music |none]

The Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo (Ministry of Health and Consumers) is running a media campaign advising the use of condoms against STDs and unwanted pregnancies. There are posters in transportation stations as well as ads on TV. Unlike the US, the “A” word doesn’t appear in any of the media. The poster copy says:

Este sábado, domingo, o cuando menos te lo esperes, en tus relaciones sexuales utiliza el preservativo.

This Saturday, Sunday, or when you least expect it, in your sexual relations use a condom.

There are also commercials for condoms on TV as well here in Spain. They are usually somewhat humorous rather than being preachy.

The live-birth rate here is low, less than “replacement”. However, Spain has one of the highest adoption rates of foreign born babies in the world. And as in the US, the birth rate for “emigrants” is higher than the pre-existing population.

One reason for the low birth rate is that the cost of housing is very high relative to salaries, and as a result, marriage is often delayed. There is also less stigma towards unwed parents in Spain as compared to the States. Marriage as an institution is not viewed as important here either. An example of this is on the TV news, the wife of a person is referred to as su mujer (his woman) rather than su esposa (his spouse).

From: winstonthriller
Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 16:39 (UTC)
You know, you're all going to HELL because you are all a bunch of godless, fornicating, condom-wearing, socialist, nationally health-insured non English speaking Europeans.

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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 17:23 (UTC)
Hey, if *only* the national health system worked, we would be like that... But waiting lists of almost 2 years for testings is not precisely that good
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 18:07 (UTC)
You forget that España has a dual public/private health system. In the US there are millions of people (and a growing percentage) that have no health care at all.

And the health costs in the States are out of control. I have a friend who lives in Madrid visit me when I lived in SF and went to a clinic for tonsillitis. They only examined and proscribed antibiotics, no treatment. The bill: $5,000.

The health care system in the US is a national scandal (and financial disaster.)

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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Thursday, 10 Aug 06 | 12:38 (UTC)
I haven't been able to treat my allergies because the tests take 26 months to take. I have skipped the visit already 2 times :(
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From: winstonthriller
Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 21:04 (UTC)
Yes, but you at least have access to health care. I've heard that 40% of folks in the US have no health care coverage and have to go to Emergency Care at local hospitals for even minor care.
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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Thursday, 10 Aug 06 | 12:36 (UTC)
Hum... As a spaniard, I loathe our slow, unhuman, unpractical, cold public system. But I suppose that no national health system is worse...
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 17:58 (UTC)
We prefer the term post-Christian to "godless". And even the UK, where they speak real English and not American, has a NHS.

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[User Picture]From: fingertrouble
Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 19:19 (UTC)
Just wondering - is Carlos or Chuck your name or did you Espanosise it (err is there a spanish version of Anglocise??!).

When in Rome (or Barcelona) etc. Seems appropriate...
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Wednesday, 09 Aug 06 | 20:26 (UTC)

My name...

My given name is Charles, but that is often a bit formal in the States. I have been called "Chuck" all my life.

Here in Spain I often go by my Castilian equivalent, which is Carlos. It's hard for Spaniards to say "Chuck" since the sound of the "u" is not a phoneme found in Spanish. The Catalan equivalent is Carles.

People often go by either their Castilian or Catalan equivalents, e.g. Jorge/Jordi, José/Josep, Javier/Xavier, Juan/Joan. The King's name is "juan Carlos", but here in Catalonia he is called "Joan Carles."

It can be confusing, especially for tourists, as often Castilian names are provided, but on the street you will only find the Catalan equivalent.

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