|I arrived in Madrid at 7am Sunday morning and checked into my hostel. I took a shower and had a full day planned. First up was El Rastro, a big market held on Sunday mornings. I was so disappointed...the place was full of crap. Crappy clothes, crappy shoes, tourist crap, just crap. I have not liked the shopping anyplace I have been, which is fine by me since I have no room to bring stuff home.
Madrid is an exceptionally clean city with the best Metro system I have seen yet. It´s cheap, goes everywhere (even though Madrid is a nice walking city) and air conditioned. It put the smelly metro of Barcelona to shame. The men in Madrid are very nice looking, the best I´ve seen yet. The women, not so much, Barcelona women by far are hotter. The one unfortunate thing that I have noticed in Spain with the women is the popularity of the fem mullet. I´m telling you, it´s everywhere! Even the most fashionably dressed women seem to have one. That is my only complaint about the people here so far.
I went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant...and I have eaten at many Chinese and Japanese restaurants on this trip...and I wonder, what language should I speak with them? I guess English, but at this restaurant the staff all spoke English and Spanish so well, I was very impressed.
Next on the list was to find an book written in English, preferably Catch 22. I went to a huge Borders type store that had a nice section of literature, but alan, no Catch 22. But half of the books were crime novels and thrillers. In fact, every other place I have been to scope out books in English seem to only have John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Robin Cook, and Stephen King. It is so annoying! Is that the only thing they think we read?
Another nice thing about Madrid is that there are no signs in English anywhere. I like it because I am finally in a place where I can get along just fine (most of the time) in the native language. And for those of you who are in Madrid and need to get around...seems like you are just shit out of luck.
The highlight (actually, the exact opposite) was the bullfight that I went to on Sunday night. Why would a vegetarian go to a bullfight someone asked...well, it´s such a big part of the culture here...I´m a Spanish teacher...yada, yada, yada...so I went. It was gruesome, horrible, and I´m never going to one of those again. I felt like I was going to puke after the first bull was killed, so I got drunk to dull my pain. I had to watch 6 bulls killed all in all. But I took lots of pictures since I know that some of my students would have loved to have been there (and Bill too...). I´ll try to explain the process of bullfighting in the pictures. There is a lot of pomp and circumstance to this thing...but I have to admit that I liked the costumes.