Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Madrid Journal - Day Four

Yesterday I finally got around to writing postcards to a few friends back in the states. The writing and updates would have been easier had I been able to call out from Mario’s, if the technology was advanced enough to handle Internet access, and there were more than one telephone company to force the prices to an affordable rate.

I didn’t realize how attached I have become to the Internet and e-mail in recent months. It’s all in the mind, of course, what I give precedence and importance. Not having access to the Internet [there are companies and a few cybercafés throughout Madrid that range in distance and prices] as I would have liked, forced me to write the postcards.

I met Rasedo, a bubbly, effervescent brunette yesterday. She’s a cutie [with a boyfriend], full of life and energy, and loves to dance. Rasé, Mario and I spent the better part of the afternoon drinking wine, eating olives, and eating Mario’s first potato tortilla.

Toward the end of afternoon, Maja [from Berlin] broke down and cried in the kitchen due to frustration in not understanding Spanish. I comforted her, tried to reassure her that her frustration is justified, but will pass in time. Mario, in his own way wanted to console her, but that’s not his style. Spanish women are women . . . Spanish men are men. The others in the kitchen wanted to understand, but I don’t feel they really could understand her plight of being a twenty-one year female from Germany, away from her mother, and not being able to communicate effectively. I think she’ll be okay after time passes. When I saw Melanie [from France] later, I asked that she look after Maja for the time being until she makes the transition. She seemed agreeable to the idea.

Early evening, Mario and I walked [as he’s famous for walking everywhere] to Montcloa station to meet Rasé and Francisco. We took a bus to Majadahonda for the weekend festival and carnival. Mario and Rasé took along items and trinkets to sell; which they were able to do without a permit for about three or so hours before uniformed personnel showed up and told them [us]to leave. Rasé and I intermittently went to dance in a tent Sabor Latino.

Just as we were packing up, another friend of Mario’s, Anna, appeared as if out of thin air. We walked around the festival grounds, talking amongst ourselves, only to end up in the Sabor Latino tent. Here, all eyes were on Rasé and I as we danced to Merengue and Salsa music.

It was great to travel outside of the confines of Madrid last night to see a different neighborhood, houses instead of apartments and buildings. On the return trip, the bus seemed to have taken forever to come. Back inside the city limits, the city was bustling with people and club denizens at three-thirty in the morning. People of all ages, colors, persuasions, and vices were out and about.

We returned home at the wee hour of the morning, at which point I made tea to relax me, prepare for bed and my journal entry. When I turned on the computer, I noticed that there was a TAP error. Now, before we left, I DO remember turning off the computer successfully, and shutting-down properly. My first explanation for this would be that someone [who’ll remain nameless] was in the room and playing with the computer, made a mistake and forcibly shut down the computer. Anyway, I’ve now added TWO passwords to the computer to prevent any such occurrence from happening again.

Today I met a friend of Melanie’s from England, Max, who’s living here in Madrid presumably to learn Spanish. We sat here and talked about my screenplay, my approach to writing, and growing up in the southern United States.

I called Mother this afternoon. She told me the other day that she had fallen, bruised her shoulder, and cut her forehead open because she was dizzy from the medication she’s taking in the aftermath of her breast cancer surgery.

I am set to meet José tonight in Puerto de Toledo for dinner and catching up since we last saw each other two years ago. Both of our lives have changed since then, of course.

José was a bit late picking me up for dinner. I thought perhaps that I had heard him incorrectly in regards to our meeting place. When he finally arrived, thirty minutes later, he had his wife in tow. She’s an immigration lawyer helping non-Spaniards attain their papers and legally remain in the country.

Per José, we drove to a special place that is unattainable by bus or train. We went to a mall, El Centro, just outside the city to an Italian restaurant. I really like his wife; she’s cute without being self-effacing, intelligent, without being overbearing. She’s seems genuinely interested in learning and helping others. They informed me that Salamanca would be more to my tastes and the finest Spanish to be learned within the continent of Spain itself.

After dinner, we took a mini-tour of downtown Madrid as José and his wife [who’s name escapes me right now] pointed out sites of interest. He knows sounds rather British now, yet he believes he sounds more Belgian from his travels and interactions with Belgians. The mini-tour ended, and he brought me home with the intent of seeing each other again before I leave Madrid.

When I returned home, no one was here except for Maja. I was bored and full of energy, and I assume she was as well, so went to Calmadon Tropical for a beer. No sooner had we arrived, the bar was closing. We couldn’t have expected anything more; it was Sunday and in Spain, a very Catholic country. We returned home and went to sleep.

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