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Santa's little timewarp

timewarp's travel blog

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Santa's little timewarp

This is where I will post some hopefully practical information from my own experience while I'm spending a few days in Madrid.

 

Today I've arrived in Madrid for the national Spanish meet-up and also to get some impressions ahead of World Pride. My flight was to Málaga yesterday, and after a short stay in Córdoba I took the train to Madrid today.

 

I booked my train tickets today ago - the Spanish train provider is called RENFE - and still got a little discount. What I also noticed was that some trains for my way back on Sunday were already fully booked and for others there were only first class tickets available (standard class is called turista and first class preferente). During Pride it will be a hell of a lot busier, so if you want to take trains, it's worth booking in advance. It's worth noting that return tickets (ida y vuelta) are always cheaper than two single tickets, except for some special discounts.

 

If you take a train from Madrid Airport to the centre, or trains from a lot of other places in Spain, you're likely to arrive in the train station at Puerta de Atocha, like myself today. There's a metro (underground) station there where you can get on line 1 (the light blue one), which also connects you to the train station of Chamartín. From the Airport, you can also take the metro directly.

 

The metro station is easy to find by this logo (and the signs also say "Metro" :lol:):

 

http://www.brandemia.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/mad1.jpg

 

A single journey costs 1.50-2.00 euros, but it's worth buying a 10 journey / metrobus ticket for 12.20 euros. Usually the metro operates from 6am to 2am, although during Pride we might be lucky and they extend operating times a bit. All information inside the metro stations is in Spanish. You should at least know that the Spanish word for exit is salida. Also I found that there are little steps at various metro stations. I stumbled twice. I've warned you - my duty is done.

 

A lot of places in the centre are actually fairly easy to reach walking as well. My hostal (not hostel, a hostal is a very basic hotel with no food at all) is fairly central, so I don't need the metro a lot. However I've already found out that it will be fully booked during the whole week of World Pride. I'm not extremely worried about it - if there's nothing affordable in the centre available I will be happy with any place close to a metro station.

 

 

 

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Santa's little timewarp

Now a bit about the exploring I've already done today. I've walked along the route of the parade, which is already confirmed by now. Starting from Atocha up the Paseo del Prado and Paseo de Recoletos to Plaza de Colón. There's plenty of space, which makes it the perfect route for such a big event. The planned time is from 6pm to midnight. We're likely to start a bit later and finish a bit earlier. As the big park, Parque del Retiro, is not far away, it's not a silly idea to think we will probably end up having a picnic together after the parade.

 

I've been to quite a few of the other locations as well. Most of them are loosely arranged around Gran Vía, the big shopping street going from the west to the east. The westernmost of these locations is WorldPride Park at Puente del Rey, which is close to the metro station Príncipe Pío. There will be a "community expo", some cultural program a commercial area and the kids and family pride there. The other locations are mostly stages where there will be concerts and other events between 28th June and 2nd July. Most of them are the big, central places like Plaza de España and Sol.

 

The location for our asexuality conference on 2nd July is not yet decided, but we might have a candidate. Tomorrow Baikal Balkash and myself will have a look.

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chandrakirti

I'd better start looking! Got that 4 day weekend off:D

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Santa's little timewarp

Yesterday Baikal Balkash and myself had a look at one possible location for our asexuality conference. It is a bit outside, but well connected by train (about 25 minutes journey). We made the mistake and took the metro on our way there - it took over an hour and cost almost twice as much. But the train connection is really good. Even if we end up deciding for another location, it's comforting to know that we are likely to have a good connection of sorts.

 

Then we had a "pre-meetup" with about 10 people. Dinner and then drinks. We left at about 4 at night and I managed to get to bed at 5, so I was not up for a lot of avening when I came home. I had a great time - the Spanish aces are a fun, friendly and welcoming bunch. I must admit I was occasionally overwhelmed by some of the deep discussions about asexuality, aromanticism etc. People are really keen to move things here!

 

Today is the first day of the "proper meetup", so I get to know a lot more people. I'm really excited about it. On the downside my prediction is that on Monday I will need loads and loads of sleep. :lol:

 

 

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Santa's little timewarp

Yesterday was the main day of the meet. At first we went to a café, where I had loads of coffee and one of these:

 

https://palmerasdechocolateblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/palmera-glaseada-obrador-goya.jpg

 

Yes, at that size, it's not exaggerated. We had an interesting and fun discussion about the broad spectrum between sex - no sex and romance - no romance. Then we slowly walked to the Chinese restaurant where we had lunch. But that time the group had significantly increased in size.

 

After lunch there was a more structured meet with a review of the last year and the big upcoming event - World Pride.

 

I must admit I was totally unaware of the visibility avalanche that happened in Spain last year. It all started with a TV spot of a mattress producer that featured asexuality in a very positive way, with the message "you can do in your bed whatever you like". There is a thread on Spanish AVEN where you can also see the video. The publicity triggered loads of coverage in the big national papers.

 

There has been ace representation in various pride and alternative pride (orgullo crítico) events as well, so there are several people who know how Madrid Pride usually works, which will make things a lot easier. We will have a lot of people with local knowledge, so I'm sure nobody will get lost at WP. :)

 

After the more official part we went to a pizza place for dinner. When we finished it was already so late that I joined the group of "boring people" who decided to get at least some sleep. There were several going for drinks, but the missing sleep of the night before was too noticeable at that point, so I had to give it a miss.

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Piotrek

It ould be good to see some AVEN representatives doing visibility work outside English-speaking countries.

You mentioned asexuality having been given relatively much space in the media there. Did the Spanish AVENites say something about what the typical responses to asexuality are there? It is said to be a very masculine culture, from what I've read.

Also, I registered on the Spanish AVEN forum, but it's not particularly active.

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Santa's little timewarp
55 minutes ago, Piotrek said:

It ould be good to see some AVEN representatives doing visibility work outside English-speaking countries.

You mentioned asexuality having been given relatively much space in the media there. Did the Spanish AVENites say something about what the typical responses to asexuality are there? It is said to be a very masculine culture, from what I've read.

Also, I registered on the Spanish AVEN forum, but it's not particularly active.

 

That's a tricky one. I think efficient visibility work in specific countries has to come from locals. It's not just the language, it's also about the kind of issues asexuals face in a given country. The work we did about the UK census was about anti-discrimination laws in the UK, the NHS (National Health System) and other aspects for which census information could potentially be relevant. To give you an example of a bit of an issue in Spain - it seems that in university education in psychology degrees, even in specialised courses, asexuality is not even mentioned. A lot of local knowledge is needed to move this kind of things. So I think AVEN can at best support these initiatives. Even a lot of what David Jay does in terms of visibility work is with local groups rather than through AVEN.

 

That said, my impression is that what the Spanish aces are doing almost brings visibility work to a new level. They are building up a full-scale national ace organisation (ACEs - Asexual Community España) with regional subgroups. It could be inspiring for a lot of people in other countries I imagine. So rather than AVEN doing visibility work on more local levels, I would think about promoting more exchange between different parts of the world. The review of last year's activities in Spain was very interesting for me, and I believe it would be just as interesting for many others. Maybe we could have a forum like World Watch, but rather than focusing on media, it could focus on activities of aces around the world. Just one idea. Hmm, I think this deserves a proper thread and some brainstorming.

 

From what I gathered, the responses to asexuality are quite positive, apart from some of the typical things of the neglecting kind. There seem to be some negative things brought up on Twitter and such, but that might well be just a typical social media thing.

 

Yes, I'm on the Spanish AVEN too, and in terms of posts it is not particularly active. But again, in their equivalent of World Watch and other visibility things there is quite a lot of activity given the significantly smaller size compared to the English forums. There is also quite a lot of things happening in several countries in Latin America as well.

 

 

 

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Santa's little timewarp

About today - we only met for a few hours today, as everybody has been heading home. Went to an Andalusian tapas place not far away from the train station.

 

I took the train back to Córdoba in the afternoon, from where I'm heading to Málaga airport tomorrow. An observation about the train station of Puerta de Atocha: it's so big that departures are on two levels, ground floor (planta baja) and first floor (planta primera). The local trains (cercanías) are still somewhere else. Signs are pretty clear, so it's not complicated to find despite the enormous size of the station. For long distance trains there is usually a luggage check and ticket control before you enter the platform, not too different from going to the gates at an airport.

 

Now my collection of RENFE headphones is bigger again. There was one music channel and a film on the train I took. For the film there was both Spanish and English audio. I just listened to the music though, too tired to concentrate on a film :D

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Piotrek
19 hours ago, timewarp said:

 

That's a tricky one. I think efficient visibility work in specific countries has to come from locals. It's not just the language, it's also about the kind of issues asexuals face in a given country. The work we did about the UK census was about anti-discrimination laws in the UK, the NHS (National Health System) and other aspects for which census information could potentially be relevant. To give you an example of a bit of an issue in Spain - it seems that in university education in psychology degrees, even in specialised courses, asexuality is not even mentioned. A lot of local knowledge is needed to move this kind of things. So I think AVEN can at best support these initiatives. Even a lot of what David Jay does in terms of visibility work is with local groups rather than through AVEN.

I wasn't being clear. What I meant to say is that it's good to see members of AVEN International appearing at visibility events outside English-speaking countries.

 

Speaking of the Atocha station. It's the place of the 2004 Madrid bombings. They have a memorial to the victims there  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atocha_station_memorial

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Glory93
On 12/2/2017 at 8:53 PM, Piotrek said:

 

Also, I registered on the Spanish AVEN forum, but it's not particularly active.

 people  migrate more to Facebook and whatsapp groups because of the problems aven had with the server. Also there are some disagrees between Spain and Spanish American speakers. We are working on it. Spain works mostly by whatsapp. 

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chandrakirti

Thanks for the heads up about Meter/train / parade route, @timewarp. I managed to get the time off, but I'm still too skint to buy flight and room. Maybe next month!

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Alex.andra
On 2/14/2017 at 2:14 PM, Glory93 said:

Spain works mostly by whatsapp. 

Some Spanish, Barcelona/Catalonia has whatsapp but it's marginal. It's mostly Facebook with whatsapp as an add-on. But lately both are very quiet.

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