Archive for May, 2010

This is a cartoon from 1948. It was originally an anti-communist propaganda. It shows well the advantages of capitalism and free trade. It shows just what people living under communism or any extreme left-wing regime lose. Much of this cartoon can even be applied for today. Everyone studying Economics, History, International Relations, Politics or Sociology should watch this.

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Last time I was travelling was in April  when I travelled to Portugal. I flew to Porto from Paris. This happened just a day after the disruptions caused by the Icelandic volcano. My flight was from the Paris-Beauvais airport. This airport happens to be almost 100 kms from Paris. In order to get there one must take a special shuttle. In normal circumstances this shuttle leaves every 15-30 minutes. My flight was scheduled on 15:30. I arrived at the bus station at 12:35 . Just to find out that the next bus is leaving at 14:45. (Because of the disruptions the buses were not leaving for almost a week. Since this was the first day they were leaving  since the disruptions began, they only left every 3 hours. There was an announcement on the airport website. I was not smart enough to check it out.) The time to get to the airport is around 1 hour and 10 minutes. There were no circumstances under which I could have caught the flight while taking the 14:45 bus. I would have to take the taxi and pay around 100 euros. I was told by the guy behind the counter that I should wait because probably there will be other people who will arrive late. In that case I could share the taxi with them, which if shared does not cost much. I was lucky. Three other people were just as stupid as me. :-D. They happenned to be 3 Italians. So we shared a taxi and had some good conversations in the taxi. They told me about what is Italy like and what they liked about France. I used up all my italian which only happens to be a few words such as hello, thank you, goodbye and so on.

After the flight I finally arrived at Porto. I got to the hostel. I checked out the beautiful city. In the evening I found out that the hostel was almost empty. Except for me there were only 3 other people. They happenned to be from Spain. That evening I practiced a lot of my Spanish. They told me about their lives in Spain and what is Spain like. They were all over 30 years old and told me about the hardships that young people have to go through in Spain. (I guess it is not only a problem in Italy and Slovakia but pretty much all over Europe. SADLY) It was great having a chat with them.

Next Day I went to Lisbon to meet my friends who are studying there for a few months via the ERASMUS exchange programme. (Thanks to the same programme I can study for a few months in France.) While I was there we hired two cars and went for a roadtrip across Portugal. The participants were me, 3 of my slovak friends and 5 lithuanians. I was in the other car with 3 lithuanians. Again we had some awesome chats and had a lot of fun.

So just in few days, I happenned to be with 3 italians, 3 spaniards and 3 lithuaninas. This is pretty much how globalization works in practice.  Young people from all over the world are meeting each other and are able to exchange experience. Travelling is more fun just because of that. Why would one spend a lot of money for a luxurious holiday in an expensive hotel? It is much better to spend less in a hostel where you get to meet other people and find out much more about the world. One can also improve his language skills while he speaks a foreign language. The other positive thing was that I could tell all these foreigners a lot about my country, Slovakia. This way they do not have to believe all the stereotypes.

The icelandic volcano also showed just how globalized this world truly is. Something that happenned in Iceland shook all of Europe and disrupted the traffic all over the northern hemisphere.

One thing is for certain and everyone who hesitates about travelling should keep it in mind. THE WORLD IS A BOOK AND THOSE WHO DO NOT TRAVEL READ ONLY ONE PAGE

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