Friday, December 31, 2010


Today's soundtrack:
Whatever is playing in the internet cafe at the moment.

What follows is a smattering of interesting facts, never before revealed, about life in Madrid.

- Papa Noel lives in the Madrid Metro.
In Linea 5, if I'm not mistaken. There was an adorable little 3 year old, mouth gapping open, at the sight of a 60 year old man, white beard and hair. "Papá, es Papá Noel," he whispered to his dad. I suppose the old man was used to it, because as the kid and his dad got up to leave, the old man gave the kid a wee card with a calender on it.

- The 10 metre sprint.
And speaking of the metro, there are intricacies to how one is supposed to behave when riding the train. For example, you should not sway in large circles, haphazardly, crashing into the backs and sides of everyone around you. I'm looking at you, annoying drunken man from Linea 1 last night. As a rule, everyone is grumpy on the metro. There is no smiling. Not even drunk, swaying guy was smiling. There is, however, an exception. If you are coming down the last flight of stairs, and you start to hear that familiar hum of the train coming into the station, followed by a herd of passangers moving towards the escalator, and you start to run in the usually vain hope that you'll make it to the doors before the beep, and by some miracle, you make it onto the train, then - and only then - are you allowed to smile broadly to all around. NB: If the train is full, smiling even under these conditions means that no one will give up their seat for you, because by running, you've only made the train more crowded. You jerk.

- December 23rd is National Health Awareness Day.
There is a lottery here called El Gordo. The prizes are usually pretty big and numerous, and Spaniards spend a few hours on the morning of the 23rd watching the parade of orphans/schoolchildren singing out the lucky numbers. By around 10:30am, El Gordo (the big prize) has been given out, and thus begins National Health Awareness Day. Every conversation you will overhear for the rest of the day will read as follows: "No, no, I didn't win a thing. But you know, the most important thing is that I have my health".

- How to survive your wife's diet.
As witnessed this morning, an older man came out of the butcher shop, carefully opened the bag of finely-sliced serrano ham, shoved as many pieces into his mouth as he could fit, then he closed the bag and walked home. How else can one survive the post-Christmas diet?

Happy New Year. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

1 comment:

  1. A delightful snapshot. Felt like I was there. :) Do we all acknowledge the irony of the lotto called "el gordo" on health awareness day...or is it something we all agree to ignore?