Tomorrow we leave Madrid for Granada. We thought maybe we’d take the next 3 nights to explore a few different places but decided that having a home base after what it took to actually get here feels more like vacation than constantly uprooting and sleeping in different beds.
Before we go – I want to make sure I remember a few things like:
This is the best place to get dehydrated. Water isn’t offered unless you order it, but that’s so hard to do when Sangria’s available. Or beer. Or that bottle of red wine. We started to order water first, wait for it arrive drink it ALL, then order more water and a drink at the same time.
I had to think fast and move out of the way while someone tried to plant one on me. Aaron was only a couple feet in front of me, but apparently that was enough space to sneak in and give it a go.
The smell here is nice. Not full of spices. A little body odor, some chocolate, some fresh air before it spoils. It’s sweet and fragrant but not assaulting. It greets you every time you walk out your apartment door and you’re saturated in it until you return.
Their street performers are very talented.
Sunday was the busiest day, and it seems everyone buys groceries on Sunday.
We actually saw people open their windows and balcony doors while eating dinner at home on Monday night – before that we assumed no one ate at home. They have mini fridges.
We couldn’t decide what Michigan would have to offer in a compelling way to Madridians (Spaniards?) because they offer such a wide variety of delicious foods with renowned chefs and old-world recipes … and we have Public? Journeyman’s? The Piper? We do have a Lakeshore, about 1,000 burger joints and cheap beer though.
Being cut off from language for a few days really heightens other things. Like lip reading – and that, did you know, english speaking mouths move differently than spanish speaking mouths. The way we use our cheeks and tongues, the way we use our teeth and lips. We’re elaborate, show off, speakers with our language … but Spanish rolls around inside the mouth more before it exits. (But their hands always give it away.)
High heels and cobble stone streets: not a myth.
After a few days of being a tourist it’s easier to actually BE a tourist. Take the photo, linger, walk around in circles.
Ham hocks are to Spain what the mitten is to Michigan.
I bought a scarf from Spain, but it was made in India.
I am directionally talented. North and South? Not words I know how to use – but take me somewhere and I can return you home and remember how to get back tomorrow, in case you wanted that churro after all.
Aaron absorbs information and wants to engineer commerce wherever he is. He wants to talk to you about it. I absorb information and want to marinate in everything new and different and alike but not and I want to think about it. And take it’s photo.
We missed the bullfight, but we’ll be back next Sunday and try to catch it then. We’re not big sports fans so didn’t try too hard to take in a soccer game.
We didn’t make it to the Botanical Gardens but I did see an English Garden, for free; and we walked around Madrid at dusk to see the Palace in lights. We went to the Prado during their free hours, saw the things we thought we should.
Every important painting has to do with Jesus, his death, Revelations or celestial beings and mythology. This isn’t new to me, but seeing it – and seeing it EVERYWHERE makes me out-loud wonder why this culture holds so tightly, so well, to these images and the culture I live in repels them?
I like Madrid and the fact that I never know what her streets will look like, only that they’ll be there when I go outside.
This is what I want to remember about Madrid: Life is meant to be experienced and shared.