Old Travel Email…

In a fit of procrastination, I came across an old email written from a quaint little spanish town in 2003…

20 Jan 2003 – San Cocodrilo

Hi Guys

Just a few differences between Australia and Spain.

1) On a recent trip to Ávila near Salamanca we stopped to admire the views, use the facilities and have a peek at a quaint church. Inside we found the remains of a crocodile encased in a glass tomb. The story goes that 300 years ago a Spanish knight in the Americas was attacked in a river crossing by this ferocious crocodile (I guess it had teeth back then). In a miraculous few moments, “the Virgin Mary appeared before him, stayed his fear, and transformed his pole into a sword with which he slayed the awesome creature”. In thanks (or purely to show off) he brought the mighty beast back to Spain and hung it up in his local church…as you do. Now…

In Spain: They make this humble Spanish knight into a Saint and adorn this quaint little church with a huge 4m*4m Painting of the aforementioned miracle and the aforementioned Croc.

IN Australia: They would say, “yeah good on you Rodge, have another beer ya tosser, jeez you talk some shit when you hit the piss”.

And with that the miracle would pass like one of Rodge’s beers into the bleary hangover of time.

2) IN Australia they have had the great idea of introducing EFTPOS
machines in MacDonalds Restaurants to help all of those unfortunates who have forgotten their wallet and loose change but still wish to indulge in some of that fattening, coronary heart-failure inducing, deliciousness.

IN Spain: In fact in this same little quaint church in Ávila, they have also introduced EFTPOS machines, supposedly to help all of those unfortunates who left their change at home when attending the weekly mass.

You might think it was a joke… except for the fact that there are 2! (one at each entrance). I would never have thought I would see someone withdraw money in a church; let alone have queues of people that would necessitate not 1 but 2 devices. Is there a minimum $20 withdrawal? Can you do your banking? Say a few prayers, do some Rosaries and pay of that overdue Telstra bill? Of course they have maintained the “antiquated” loose change box as well.

Clerical Opportunism or Spanish Piousness? I’ll let you decide.

Now I can’t really see this taking off in churches in Australia but it must be said – I’m sure that for many of the fatties in Australia a Sunday “Big Mac Meal Deal” is a religious ritual in itself.

So are we really that different after all?

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