Could you tell us your name?
My name is Daniel Anglada Pic.
Where were you born?
I was born here, in Barcelona
What’s your profession?
I’m a merchant seaman. That is, I’m a pilot in the Merchant Navy. Nowadays I’m sailing, moving liquid natural gas around the world with the company Teekay.
What made you work in the sea?
Ever since I was little, I’ve enjoyed sailing in the summer. I started sailing in Masnou. Eventually, I outgrew the kind of boat and moved here to Barcelona.
From sailing year after year, summer after summer, and seeing that there was a professional career, I started to get professional until I ended up studying the degree and joining the Spanish merchant navy.
Historically, much is said about the relation between Catalans and the land, a strong and important relation. What can you say regarding the relation between Catalans and the sea?
That comes from… It’s true that the history isn’t completely known. Except by those that come from the sea and related to the sail, specially the traditional sail instead of the more modern one.
Catalans have been related to the sea for centuries. For example, I can tell you about a town named Vilassar de Mar where you’d find, in the 40s and 50s, that half the people were professional merchant seamen. The other ones were fishermen there. There’s always been a lot of dedication.
Furthermore, we could say that even though Catalans have been a lot tilling the land and doing agriculture, we’ve always had second residences by the sea.
From realizing that you can also till by the water and all the profit from the sea, small towns were created.
Not long ago we were at Calafell and we were told a bit of the town’s history. This town is located a few kilometers inland, but by the coast it was born from people who had second homes or, as the land was worthless, the poorest people.
From here, shipbuilding, different fishing arts, etcetera. We have a huge sailor culture. But the thing is that we are a country, Spain as well as Catalonia, that hasn’t paid enough attention to the sea, on the contrary, we’ve turned our backs on it.
Now it seems that, from all the luxury business, luxury ships, luxury charters, it’s all starting to come back a bit. But there’s been a relationship between Catalans and the sea for many long years.
Are you in a syndicate? How does it benefit you? Do you know of the history of syndicates in Barcelona?
Us seamen are already part of a syndicate. It’s a syndicate that fights for our rights.
We do that from… that you are part of a foreign company doesn’t mean that you can’t partake of the rights here and fight for our rights.
A clear example are the dockworkers in Barcelona. They are people who have fought their whole lives to have certain responsibilities, some gains when it comes to work, and they don’t want the government managing it. That’s why they fight so much to be the ones that manage themselves.
I’m not directly in a syndicate but I do have clear that when things start to go to worse, and there’s already some signs in the navy of hard working conditions. Long time out, little resting time, lot of hours in a row without rest on board. Then I will work harder on that matter, but for now we avoid it.
Do you remember any story from the civil war, life during Franco or the transition?
Yes. I was born in Barcelona, but my parents aren’t. My mother was born in Manresa and my parent in Mataró. I don’t know much history on my father’s side.
It’s also someone with whom I haven’t had much relationship. But with my mother I’ve had, right in this apartment, where I also live with my grandparents on my mother’s side.
They were well-off people, noble people. My grandfather on my mother’s side had been the mayor of Manresa. We are talking about people who moved in a certain social sphere. But when war came, it all changed.
They were very sieged. Specially, if you ask me to analyze in a few words what do I take from all my grandparents and parents have told me about it, is the prohibitions.
It’s the lack of freedom, not being able to speak Catalan, not being able to write it. That they barged into your place, searched it up for writings or notes in Catalan, it was all burned.
The only thing you can’t take away from someone is their freedom. Freedom to talk, freedom to move, and that was very repressed during the war.
For example, for this interview, I asked my mother and she told me that, for example, the soldiers went into their school. Then all the nuns started running to make sure everyone spoke Spanish. Because girl who didn’t speak Spanish and spoke Catalan, could be beaten.
Those are things that have hit a nerve in Catalans here. And regarding my granparents, my grandmother was an avid reader and a great writer. She had to hide everything, because when they searched your place, woe to you if they found some writings. You could be shot by a firing squad right there, they weren’t fooling around.
And during the war, a funny anecdote for example. During the morning in Manresa, the republicans came into the houses and took everything regarding Jesus Christ, religion, Christianism, right-wing documents.
Then, I have no idea what happened during the afternoon that by the evening the Francoist side came and gave you back the crosses, the documents. As you can see it was a war, but it was a war that… There wasn’t much…
I don’t think people actually knew why they were fighting, but were just bossed around. Yeah.
And a bit more recent, because I’m thirty and my mother isn’t too old. When she studied medicine here in the ‘Hospital Clínic’ [lit. Clinical Hospital] of Barcelona, the horses of the Francoist regime entered the hallways of the ‘Clínic’ and pursued all the students because they studied in Catalan.
And they had to sneak into different hallways. Of course, the students knew very well the hospital. The ‘Clínic’ is like an inner square from where different hallways branch out. There the horses came in to pursue students.
When you say, “we hate Spain”, it’s not that, but it really has done a lot of damage. For many years they have taken away our freedom for anything. Not being able to go out on the streets and express like you wanted.
Now there’s a lot of talk about the desire to get apart from Spain and become an independent nation. Are you in favor of independence?
I am in favor of independence, I’ve always been. The thing is that… I really think that this step of moving away has to teach us a lot.
It needs to teach us how to manage our own money. How to do things so that future politicians, because obviously there will be politicians, I doubt we will ever be a country like Island that has kicked politicians out. An elite sportsman is the minister for sports, I mean, it’s people who have reached the top on their fields who are the ministers managing the country.
I don’t know if we will reach that level because we need to understand that Spain has been many years beating up, trying to grow a culture, their culture, in our land.
Because of that, I know many people who are not sure about independence, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
So what we have is to… I’m very in favor, especially with the fact that we have to disassocia… we can’t be such an important force in Spain. When it comes to bring economy, to generate riches in the country because we need to keep in mind that Catalonia has a spectacular geographical situation.
Both regarding the climate and the situation. We’re not the back end of Spain, that’s Algeciras. We are the nexus entry of all the merchandise from the Atlantic.
The great ships, for example, or merchant planes stop at Algeciras. But Barcelona is becoming a really strong harbor since currently there’s a lot of movement of containers, grain, people with the passageway. We’re a strong destiny and staying place for ships.
Not only cuises, but also ferry lines. Those ships that come from the north of Africa and maybe want to reach the Italian coasts through the Spanish and French coast.
Well, many new lines are being opened which is bringing lots of wealth. And that comes due to Barcelona’s geographical position and Catalonia. That’s why we see big companies are getting stablished here.
We’re also an important connection with the north of Europe. Here arrives a lot of merchandise from the United States and China. It enters through the channel of Suez and the Mediterranean or the Cape of Good Hope, Green Cape, South-Africa and we enter the Mediterranean and find the same situation.
Starting from the knowledge that geographically we are an important point in world economy, we need to exploit that and keep it in mind. As a country we can be a great country.
We’ve also proven that we are working people. That we don’t see violence as a way to earn things, but rather dialog. And that’s been proven by Catalonia for centuries, using dialog to reach our aims.
Catalan history and culture are identifiable for a long time. Which do you consider are the main differences between the Catalan ones and the Spanish ones?
Catalan history, for example, for all the Spaniards that talk about Spanish culture, we will now make a comparative.
Here we’ve had bulls and many animals, but specially bulls to make massacres. But notice that here in Catalonia, with time, we’ve realized that animals deserve respect, many of them were here in the land where they are before we were.
So I see that Spanish culture is very ancestral and hasn’t evolved. Meanwhile, we have been able to adapt and see that there are paths down which you can’t follow, you need to take a very different path.
Because you’re hurting the environment or your country’s fauna. The big difference I use is the topic of bullfighting in Spain and here.
Here in Catalonia we forbid bullfighting and it wasn’t so hard to forbid. People spoke of battles in the ‘Monumental’ when there were bullfights.
It’s not true, there were only four people who demanded not to do it. It was from the government that it was driven the outlawing of this sacrilege against certain animals.
We can’t compare all the Spanish and Catalan culture with this topic, but we can see certain parts. We can see that we’ve been able to evolve with all this globalism that has come in.
From many cultures, lots of people who come from outside and settle here. They also have the right to live their own way. Respecting us, but they also have the right to live their way.
I think we’ve been much more able to understand that and open up and adapt than other cultures like the Spanish one.
Spanish culture has had many authors when it comes to literature, great authors like Catalan culture. My point is that in this there are parallel paths.
There’s a big difference, especially when it comes to thinking and accepting and adapting.
We also see that with our politicians, compared with the politicians of the central government, they are very different. We are cultured people, why can’t our president speak English?
The Catalan president goes to the UN and gives a speech in Spanish, Catalan, English and French. That’s culture. That’s knowing. That’s being strong.
What’s not being strong is going on tv like a media puppet for those channels that take advantage of showing him on tv. What I’ve always talked about is this anti-culture, really.
I think that with some overviews of some issues you can see that there are big differences. It was also proven in the past.
When you say it was proven in the past, do you have a specific moment or do you mean in general?
I have a story in mind. A great person like Puig Antich, who was a great author, poet, fighter for the Catalan rights, and that man never got old.
What did the Francoist regime did hastily to him? Shot down by a firing squad. Lluis Companys? Wasn’t accepted either. Well, there are some…
It’s better not delving into this topic because I think it’s going backwards. And I think we don’t have think backwards. Well, it’s not that, let’s see if I can express it right.
We have to look at what they have done to us and keep in mind what has happened, but we don’t need to fixate on those facts. We need to try that future generations don’t go through the same that our parents, our grandparents did.
That’s the really important thing, that it doesn’t keep happening like it has for so long. We’ve had people fighting for their land, their rights, and ended up shot down by firing squad and never recognized. Meanwhile, families from the Francoist regime have been recognized for many years while here, heroes and political leaders, happened what happened and Spain never said a thing.
Is Catalan very important for you and your community?
Let’s see. If we are talking about making a living, the most important language is obviously English. That opens all the doors. But that doesn’t mean we have to lose our roots.
We have a very classical language, very ancient, that we would have to try not to lose.
After so many years of fights, against a government that wanted to eradicate it and couldn’t, I think this language will never be lost.
Speaking about language, how do you consider the Catalan of Barcelona is different from that of the rest of Catalonia?
Catalan of Barcelona… The one that’s not from Barcelona is very closed. The speech, much more closed.
Even the grammar changes. In Lleida we have other weak pronouns like ‘lo’ and other things. Which here in Barcelona, the Catalan we study, isn’t like that.
But the Catalan from here, for me, I see it as an easier to understand and comprehend than if you take someone, take them to Olot and have them talk with someone from Olot.
Will they understand each other? Of course. But there are words that even I, when you travel around, you realsie and think, damn, it feels like a different language. I notice and think, it’s so different.
Yes, I’d say it’s much more closed. It doesn’t mean that people are closed, just that the way to speak is more closed. They keep many things to themselves when they talk. Maybe here we have a more open speech.
But I think that’s because of Barcelona being a cosmopolitan city nowadays. It has a mixture of cultures and I think we take a bit from here, a bit from there, and it ends up creating that, this Language.
Can you think of any song or poem that speaks of your Catalan identity?
Yes, for me it’s ‘Habaneres’. ‘Habaneres’ are musicalized poems about the sea. The most famous of all, ‘El meu avi va anar a Cuba’ [lit. My grandparent went to Cuba], are traditional songs of people from here who sung to the sea.
Nowadays we see those men with deep voices, but it was actually women who sung ‘habaneres’.
Those were the songs they sung to the sea when their husbands embarked and they knew when they were leaving but not when they were coming back.
They were songs of love, of purity, of feeling. Towards their husbands, the ships and the sea. And always with respect. ‘Habaneres’ have stolen my heart.
How has the city changed since you were a kid?
When did you feel that started to happen?
Seven or eight years ago, approximately. Is when I really started to feel the great change.
It used to be an power station back then, the Generator building. It’s a huge building, it takes about a block of the ‘Eixample’.
It has over a thousand or even two thousand beds. You see that every morning 7 or 8 buses arrive and download them, at night or the next day, they pick up others, it’s a huge people movement. And I don’t have one here, I have three.
Not as big the others, but with about as much movement.
The idea of a hostel is great, I’ve used it out of Spain with families and it’s great. I don’t complain about the idea, I complain that they can’t even control the people that goes there.
And the ‘Guardia Urbana’ [lit. Urban Guard] is besides itself with anger, it just drives by and doesn’t even say a word. You walk by and it feels like a weed plantation because of the smell, but you see the ‘Guardia Urbana’ and they don’t do anything because they don’t have the tools to take proper action.
Surely they must arrest them, seize the stuff or whatever, and the ticket doesn’t even arrive them because they are foreigners, etcetera.
I suppose they think it’s better not to waste time, but there are neighbors. We are from here and we also have the right to enjoy our neighborhood.
Do you have any personal item that represents Catalan culture?
Yes, but more than something really sentimental is a sort of gag. It’s the Catalan ‘caganer’. [lit. shitter]
With that you travel around the world and people are out of words. How do you place in the middle of Bethlehem a dude doing number two? That’s the way we Catalans are, we laugh at everything, but we always carry on.
Now that you mentioned the ‘caganer’, could you explain a bit the ‘caga-tió’?
Would you describe yourself as someone risen in the Catalan traditions? If so, how do you think it shows in you?
I’ve been raised in the Catalan traditions. To sum it up, I studied in an English school.
My mother is a doctor, and it’s not that I have a handicap but she decided that she didn’t want me to have any issue with English, so she enrolled me in an English school.
It’s the Saint Peter’s school, that brought native teachers from England. So here at home I spoke Catalan and lived as a typical Catalan. But the school didn’t follow our calendar of traditions and festivities, but rather worked as any English school.
There was a lot of difference, we celebrated some things while they celebrated others.
What makes you different from one thing to the other? I don’t know, I suppose… I don’t know how to answer.
They are different cultures, traditions, but… Give me two minutes.
Let’s leave it for later, I can’t find the words now.
Where did you usually socialize with friends when you were younger?
Since I studied in that English school, I never felt very identified with anyone there. It was different social levels.
So I’ve always been around people who sails, the people with whom I’ve sailed. There was also a time when I played basketball. We formed a team and hanged with that people.
But, especially when you grow up, you are sixteen, seventeen or eighteen, here I admit that it was the sailing world. A world where we always did regattas, we were at the boat warehouse. I started working, when I was 17, at a navy base.
From here I have a branching of friends, from all ages, but all with the same target, respecting the sea. Some did windsurf, others sailed with the ‘Petit Català’, a boat from here. But we all looked forward to waking up in the morning, checking the wind and going into the water.
I’ve always moved with related people, my friends are seamen too. It’s not that I’ve closed up on this area, quite the contrary, but from going out, from one you meet someone else and become friends. I’ve mostly hanged out at the ‘Port Olímpic’, where I sailed. Then, when I had a motorcycle I started moving around Barcelona, but always with sea people. Not only professionals, but also those who do it for fun.
As a kid, what was your favorite Catalan festivity? Do you have any story?
Well, as a kid it was one, but later it changed.
As a kid, the festivity I liked most was the three wise men day. Because here at home it was magic. Between that we decorated the whole place, the wise men were always magnificent. Especially my mother, who created an ambience at home as if it was magic.
And with the years, the festivity I’ve started giving more importance to, because I started to understand it, is the parade of the ‘Carme’, the patron saint of the sea.
Why? At first I didn’t get why we threw bouquets and prayed to god, but as you start sailing you notice there’s something else.
You think, I don’t know how nothing has happened today. There was a guardian angel that kept me from harm. From things and facing tough situations in water up to the point of, only once in my life, wishing I was back in dry land while I was sailing. It has only happened once to me, imagine the situation.
There you start seeing that there are times when, call it what you will, call it luck, but there are times when there’s an angel that gets you off the hook and helps you.
This is my favorite festivity now. Specially because of the dedication of sea people. Here in Barcelona it’s not very lived. It is specially in Barceloneta, who are fishermen families, that they go out with four boats and throw it.
But when you’ve gone further than Badalona, it’s lived intensely. Or when you cross the shore of the Garraf, Sitges, you go towards Vilanova, that’s their daily bread, because she’s the keeper of their sons, their husbands, their fathers.
So you start understand it and getting passionate about it.
When you were younger, what did you usually watch on tv?
When I was young I used to watch, from our time, Son Goku, the famous Son Goku that was so famous and even know is known.
The young kids, I’m working with an association that works with disabled young kids, and we take them to sea in a historic ship, and they know him.
They know him and they are handicapped children, beg your pardon, and young, I’m talking seven or eight years old, and they know Goku quite well.
It was one of my tv idols. Then there was Mr. Bean. I don’t know if…
Widely known and a great actor. The dude managed to get into such messes. He could mess everything up without uttering a single word.
‘Habaneres’ are a kind of music that I like to listen to the message, but I have other preferences in music.
Specially I’ve listen to 80s and 90s English pop music. That’s mostly due to my mother. She used to play in a band , the famous ‘Setze Jutges’ [lit. Sixteen Judges] that played in Manresa. Bands of Catalan songs that were called radicals.
But I’ve always loved music, and here the 80s and 90s are very present, this calmer English pop. Right now it’s the style that I dig.
What’s a dish that you would consider typical Catalan.
I’ve thought long about this, and I’d say that a typical dish from here, which I haven’t found in all my travels around the glove, is the famous ‘trinxat de Cerdanya’ [lit. Cerdanya’s Mash].
Maybe I’m wrong and it’s prepared somewhere else too, but I haven’t found it. It’s the potato mashed with the cabbage, everything fried with bits of lard. It tastes great.
I know that this was started here, in the famous Cerdanya because cabbages grew well and we know that potatoes grow up anywhere. Don’t ask me how this dish starts but I know it’s from there and I haven’t found it anywhere else. Because of my job, I don’t go to land often, but wherever you go you always try some of the local things. But things similar to the ‘trinxat de Cerdanya’, I haven’t…
What’s the square in the city that you consider the most Catalan?
The square in the city I consider the most Catalan… Well, we have a few important ones here in Gràcia. There were a lot of protests and people who went to fight for their neighborhoods and their culture.
But I think that an important square in Barcelona is that of Josep Tarradellas or Francesc Macià, or Calvo Sotelo as it was called before.
Especially because of the history behind it and the things that have taken place there, because if we remember now, I think it was around 2005 and 2010, there’s was a demonstration on tents in Francesc Macià that claimed against the crisis because they were closing down hospitals or sections of them, salary cuts…
People took a stand there as a protest for everyhing that that great man, Francesc Macià, had done for Catalonia.
I think it’s very important. There’s also ‘Catalunya’ square because it’s in the very middle. Not long ago they painted a sun on it over 50 metres in diameter, that’s important too.
But if we look at the name of the square and the deeds… The thing is that in ‘Catalunya’ square many things have happened too. We could choose those two as referents, yes.
You’ve just mentioned the economic crisis. What do you think have been to motive on a Spain level?
On a Spain level, it has been the greed for money of the politicians, that’s for sure. That they weren’t able to draw a line. It’s untolerable that the greatest debtor of the IRS is a soccer club, doesn’t matter if it’s Messis or Ronaldos, Barcelona or Madrid.
It’s a country where there’s people living. From football live a few. The rest of us have to wake up every morning to earn our living. Repeat me the question, I forgot it.
The reasons of the economic crisis on a Spain level.
Besides what we said about certain clubs, certain people that we know are indebted with the country, there have been politicians that have stolen a lot, both here and there.
When I say here I mean Catalonia, when I say there, I mean Spain.
Both here and there. Here some have fought for us, but I’m also fully aware that they have taken plenty of advantage of the situation.
Something that makes it even more important is that, here in Catalonia, when you talk with your grandparents, or your parents if they are over 60, they were Pujolists. They weren’t ‘convergència’ people, they were Pujolists.
Finding out all that has happened and what hasn’t happened, I’m sure that if my grandmother was alive today and realized all that man has done to Catalonia, she would feel deeply disappointed.
We are talking of politicians that haven’t helped us, both here and there. There we know all the cases that are happening, and not only politicians, monarchy isn’t falling behind.
A great issue are banks. What have banks done? They have toyed with money. Money that didn’t exist, fictional money. Handing out loans to people who didn’t have economic stability or jobs.
I remember perfectly, and it’s something I’ve been discussing with my mother lately, that you went to the bank and asked a loan of 20,000€ for a car.
But you said, better give me 25 because I’ll put some wheels, a sound system and I’ll dye the panes. Same happened with apartments, give me a loan for an apartment and I ask for extra because I’ll remodel it. Everyone gave and nobody barely said anything.
What did that bring us? That banks have found themselves out of liquid assets. On top of that, we’ve had to rescue them.
Which to a company created by a person, when it goes bankrupt, nobody rescues it, quite the opposite: the bank executes you.
Here at home something happened. My father had a fabric company. He was from Mataró, which has always been an important in the fabric business.
He has a fabric company that made clothing for children. During the 90s, what happened with the appearance of the Chinese companies? That they competed on another level.
What does that mean? If you made a simple shirt for three cents, they made it for less than one.
It was impossible to compete against them. Do you think the government did anything to keep that from happening and favor people from here? No.
What did we do? Use everything as guarantee. We’re out of money? We use the house as guarantee for the bank. The cars, the apartments, the parking slots. A Sunday we had everything, next Monday we didn’t even have a place to sleep.
Because the bank decided you were bankrupt, the judge said okay, and they took everything.
Now it’s ‘Banco Popular’, ‘Bankia’, they are all falling and we have to go rescue them. And that’s a shameful country, beg your pardon. It’s shameful to accept it because like my case there are 300,000, I’m explaining mine because I’ve lived it in my own skin. There have been hard times in this household.
Do you agree with a bank going bankrupt and having to help them? No. Why? Because just like me, there are thousands of people who set up companies and they don’t work.
How many guys are entrepreneurs with great ideas. Stuff that you think, if there was only someone here with a couple of bucks to find him and launches him, it will be great. Our country doesn’t do that.
Recently, there was a kid of seventeen in ‘Vilanova i la Geltrú’ that NASA, NASA, has just recruited. They have taken him there all expenses paid. Why? Because he’s found the way to control a machine thing on Mars from Earth.
In Catalonia, there’s people like that for anything you want. And in sailing I could tell you a thousand stories about people born here who have triumphed outside because here they never had any help from the government.
We didn’t cause the great crisis. It was caused by the power, not having clear how the government is being handled. As long as there’s money, free rein. But then happens the obvious.
And in the end, the harmed ones are the elderly, because it’s their retirement pension what’s in danger. You and me, for example, should worry to get private pension plans and saving accounts. Because who knows if we will have a pension plan the way things are going today.
We have to keep in mind that the big culprit of that wasn’t us. It was the banks and the politicians, with the way they handled things. Boy, I let it all out.
You’ve mentioned that there’s economic support for young people to carry out their ideas. What do you think are the other reasons for such a high unemployement level among the youths?
That’s a bit like the dog chasing its own tail. I’ve been there too. You end your degree, four years now, 3 or 4 years for the degree an one for the Master’s degree.
After those four years, as a seaman, you’re nothing. You have to board for a year with no pay, often unable to find a ship. You can find peers who have been two years trying to contact shipping lines to no avail.
We have been a country that hasn’t realized the importance of English, people who triumphs are those that have English. Not that they triumph, it’s that people who can start doing anything are us who have English. Those who don’t are very limited.
Besides from English skills, there’s another obstacle. The desperation of not being able to find anything after you’ve studied for that, made an effort for that, you realise that after all that, not even my university is able to help me.
There’s no resources. Only saying, Oh, Spain has lost all the Spanish fleet. There were over 500 ships registered with a Spanish flag. Nowadays, it’s not even 40.
I’m talking about my own sector, what do kids who have no English do? They have to wait with nothing to do waiting for Balearia to accept you, with awful working conditions. You spend a year without receiving any money and then you enter a third officer. You’re destroyed on all sides, with really hard working conditions. That needs to change.
Just like me, I know that architects are in the same situation. Many engineers as well. Doctors too are in those situations. In the end, these jobs are vocational, and the state needs to understand that and give it as much help as it can.
Here I’m going out on a limb, but it can’t be that it’s the personal projects of people that carry people forward and help them carry own.
For example, in our university school we have no ship. But the dean is finding the way to get a ship, like the americans. For example, the university of California has a ship that is nothing special. It’s about 150 meters, if I remember right. The students, when they are finished, go aboard it for a year. They finish with the title and can start making a living.
Imagine, you start the degree when you’re 18, spend four, you’re already 22. You can spend 2 or 3 without finding a job, 25 years old. There’s people that end up settling down for that apathy. They just become accustomed to it and live from the state the way they can. Others don’t, we fight so it doesn’t happen, but it does happen.
Why is so high the youth unemployment? I still think it’s because of lack of grants. And because there are times that one needs to say, I have to be an intern, or an apprentice, or anything, but with a minimum.
It’s not possible that I have to be 19 hours aboard without making cent, not being able to eat, in conditions… we’re not in the XIX century, you know?
On the XXI century it should all have improved, but it seems to be hard to improve. And it seems now youths have no other choice to get the recognition that we will be able to be good professionals later.
I think that’s not the way it goes. That youths have more to say and that with some help, many changes would happen. I was with ‘22@’, we set up a small school of sailing life and that.
So much for the help of ‘22@’ and the city hall of Barcelona, but you end up doing everything yourself. You have to find your own funds, everything you need. Maybe you’ve never done a project plan, and you have to do it for the first time looking up on the internet how to because those people are unable to help you.
That’s where the big problem is. I suppose there’s people that it makes them slow down. I have friends that are really down and with the pension, a subsidy, an I-don’t-know-what, carry on. But of course, that depends on what one wants for their life.
Besides age, which is the obvious part, what differences do you see between your generation and your parents’?
That we’ve had everything. What do I mean everything? You wanted a cell phone, you had cell a phone. Back then there were no cell phones, but there were other things. And you didn’t get them unless you earned them.
For example, nowadays parents are unable to say no to their kids. It’s hard, I don’t mean everybody, but they have it hard to say no. Or drawing a line, you can reach up to here, honey, but not here.
And that seems to be being lost, that we have to take children as if in a bubble, in cotton. What that’s causing is that on the minimal frustration, that kid has a hard time to recover.
Because if as a child you’re taught that now it’s not the time, you have to do it later, with time you learn that everything has a time, everything as an effort, and there’s a reason for everything.
How many times you, as a kid, wanted to leave and they said to you, “no, you can’t leave because you have to do this and that”. “But mom, I’ll do it later, I don’t…” That’s education. Responsibility, it gives you values.
Nowadays… That’s hard to find. My mother works with children. I spent some time with her, doing some changes to her office, and I was quite shocked by what I saw.
A kid could take off the shoes and get on the table. And you’d say, “Parents, why aren’t you saying anything to him?”. “Well, today is the day we can’t tell him off for anything.” What do you mean today you can’t tell him off for anything today? “No, there’s a day every week that we can’t tell him off” or that they answer you “That’s nothing, doctor, he could have scratched your walls already”. You think, what kind of world do we live in?
It was shocking, because at home I always hear those stories. But when you see it that it’s every day and a few patients, you wonder how we got here.
I think that it’s important that we know how to spot them. Today I read that a ten-year-old kid stopped his phone for three days and got 14,000 whatsapp messages. One of those posts I saw.
If you stop to think about it, do you think a kid that age needs a phone? What do they even have to tell him? It was so nice to go to the streets and talk. Now you go to the streets and see the kids: two playing ball and the other eight on the phone. The squares in ‘Gràcia’ are every day the same now, eight playing on the phone and two playing ball, when it used to be everyone playing ball.
Or you see a couple going out for dinner and each of them is on the phone. That’s changing a lot of values and the way we are. We don’t realize we’re losing respect for people, knowing how to move on the world and how to strike up a conversation.
Now there are many things that come and don’t know how to strike up a conversation with you, or don’t know how to stablish a relationship to be able to even ask you something. For example, I was saying that sail with an association that we have recovered 114 years old ships, what we want is to recover the traditional Catalan sail.
That ship, the usual is that when people come aboard, the kids come around the help to run the ship And there are kids that need their parents to ask you not because they are shy, but because they don’t know how to.
Then, when you’re on the docks, he quickly goes, “Dad, gimme the phone”. That’s where the mistake is. You’re not shy, the thing is that it’s closing you in.
On the other side it’s great all the technology, because kids less than a year old can use an iPad, that widens your mind, that aspect is great.
It’s what we were saying, the difference between my generation as parents and my parents’ is that they knew how to set limits better. That’s the great difference, setting limits. Dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s, as we say here.