The new blog actually seems to be working, so feel free to check it out:
|The first weekend of the month, I headed to Madrid. I found the ticket for about 30 dollars, round trip, so I figured why not, and bought it just about two weeks beforehand. So after the typical Ryanair runaround, I arrived to Madrid and discovered this in the metro. (I must say, it's a good thing that this wasn't such a common ad campaign last year when I was in Madrid and desperately missing Hungary.)|
I found my way to Mary's flat and dropped off my stuff, quite pleased with myself that Madrid is still second nature to me. We then headed to her friend's apartment, grabbing me a yummy kebab on the way, to play Settlers of Kataan. Which is pretty much a perfect table game, by the way. Then it was off for some really overpriced tintos, which Mary got delightful Spanish over, before heading home.
Saturday's breakfast was at Mundo de Croquetas. The dude working there judged us slightly for eating croquetas before noon, but I didn't care. They were delicious. Croquetas. I miss you.
|I headed to Moncloa and caught the bus out to San Lorenzo to see Hernan and Yoichi. We had a nice dinner outside: the weather was amazing for the first weekend of March. And I held Yoichito cat and he was angry, but then he relented.|
|Hernan and I then went for walk, and admired the bucolic sheep grazing under the bucolic almond blossoms...|
|... and the Spanish sky...|
|... and the monastery. We had a really nice talk and it was really great to speak for hours in Spanish again, and especially to see my old roomie. He was a good roomie and I miss him.|
|Then it was back to Madrid and out for Cien Montaditos, which no longer serves gulas to my horror, and then to Magic Beer. Which still serves magical beer, to my delight. Silliness ensued, and, as usual, I wound up buying beer from a dude selling cans on the street from a cardboard box stand. We then went back to Mary's and played darts and danced with puppets. And then, to continue the as usual, I ended the night at a gay bar. It was a fun night. There's me, Jess, and Mary up there.|
|The next day, Mary, Chelsi and I hit the Rastro, where we found nothing, and then visited one of the funniest shops ever, where we read ridiculous books and improved our vocabulary. Then for lunch it was pinxos! Yum.|
|Then there was a trip to buy some jewelry, and we visited Chelsi's tea room.|
|I also pierced poor Mary's ears, in the most horrifying and least successful piercing ever. But now she has pretty earrings! Chelsi even managed to help, despite her fear of needles (which she has somehow despite all her many piercings). After that, it was off to the airport to catch my flight back home.|
|This is all the loot I got in Madrid... I have a problem!|
It was a great little whirlwind trip. Definitely a new kind of trip for me: a trip to see people only, and pretty much ignore the city they are in. It was beautiful to speak Spanish again beyond the very elementary stuff I get to speak to the kids. I do miss Spain: the food, the language, the spirit of it, even though I really didn't love living there. It was funny to complain to my friends about the same old things, because the country's never going to change. It was also great to just see my girls (and Hernan) that helped me through that really tough year. They're great people, and I miss them.
Excluding the 22 months in which I needed to leave Spain alone after Alfonso and I broke up, I have yet to go a year without returning to Spain since I studied there. And I imagine it's kind of always going to be that way.