Sunday, January 08, 2006

Madrid Journal - Day Three

This entry may be a bit out of order, here goes. In the past two days, I have done a great deal of walking. I slept until one o’clock in the afternoon on Friday; got out of bed and performed my morning [afternoon] routine of vitamins, shower, and brunch.

I remember walking to one of the nearby discount phone centers. It took me a day to figure out how the payphones work; it is necessary to dial 9, 1, followed by the number for all calls. [It was one of the three women in the apartment that gave me this information.] I called José for the second time, still unable to reach him.

Friday during the day seems to a blur right now, as I try to think back on Sunday. I think one of my high points was locating a Citibank within the immediate area [for Madrid] on Calle de Alcala. When the time comes, which should be midweek; I’ll make my way to Citibank to recharge my wallet.

Friday evening Mario and I walked to a local bar, after his not being able to locate or contact one of his friends. From the bar, we strolled throughout various streets and establishments. Once we made it back to the neighborhood, we went to an enclave populated by Gypsies. That’s right, Gypsies! The Gypsies come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The younger females are quite beautiful, the males walk as if their bullfighters entering a stadium. Their hair is jet-black, mysterious eyes, smooth skin. They travel in pairs or in small groups, seemingly daring on-lookers to stare. I thought of Cher’s song, Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves.

It was interesting, to say the least to watch the Gypsies. The make their money from what I could see, and or told by Mario, selling antiques, furniture, or drugs.

Later, we returned home to change clothes en route to Calmadon Tropical, a local Dominican bar with a miniature dance floor. Milena and I danced, while Mario sat in a corner. The deejay played a few good songs, yet the people there didn’t feel inclined to dance. There were German tourists sitting off to the other corner, opposite Mario, swaying to music. They had no rhythm, but tried all the same. One of the females in the group was itching to dance, and was about to hop out of her seat when I motioned to her to dance. Dancing with her was similar to dancing with a sack of potatoes. We departed minutes later because the bar was empty.

Leaving Calmadon Tropical, we sought out an additional place to dance and have a beer. The places we peeked into were empty as well, except for Ombu. The initial draw for me was the air-conditioning, followed by the relaxed atmosphere. The clientele were yuppies, and or those that aspired to be yuppies.

Here, Milena and I took center stage, as the bar denizens looked on. The music was better, the overall effect as well. The bar was populated by a number of Peruvians, and assorted Latinos from the world over, some with rhythm, others with an idea of what rhythm was supposed to be. We danced for about two hours, by which point the bar had become crowded. From Ombu, we headed once again to Calmadon Tropical, which was completely empty. At that hour, the best decision was to return home to sleep.

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