august 8, 2023
we arrived in madrid yesterday after flying in from san sebastian. leaving san sebastian was a little frantic. we planned to take a bus to the airport, but didn’t know the bus stop nearest our hotel had temporarily(?) removed the bus we wanted to take. in broken spanish and english, we figured out another stop we could go to to take another bus. a couple of kind women asked the driver to make sure we were taking the right bus to the airport. on the bus, i had little hope that my temperamental bladder could hold the tea, coffee, and water i drank at breakfast.
like san sebastian, madrid is quite cosmopolitan, which is perfect because i brought a combination of clothes that make me look like i’m camping or hiking.
nothing notable today, or that’s how i feel now. it’s hot, between 95 and 100 degrees, so it makes it hard to want to be out. i wish there was an ocean or pool we could jump into. we walked around el retiro park, stopping by the temporarily closed palacio de cristal to see what an empty 19th century glass building looks like. it’s pretty and not as delicate as i thought.
like last night, we made dinner at home. a modest dinner of pasta, salmon, and sauteed salad greens with tomatoes, garbanzo beans, onions, and garlic.
rather than just saving money, i wonder if i’m just nervous to get a meal oustide. in san sebastian, we both got shy toward the end of our trip ordering pintxos. pintxos culture is not for the timid or socially anxious. i think it sucks not being able to speak spanish outside of hello, thank you, please, excuse me, i’ll have this and that - it puts me in a purely transactional position that i don’t like. i’ll have to get used to being a tourist especially as i get further away from romance languages and my novel familiarity with the portuguese language will no longer matter.