For those of you that follow my blog, you know I have been posting some old blog entries from my days in Spain six years ago. To my new readers, Hello! And to all of you, here are a few last posts from my time in Madrid.
Everyone Knows I’m In Over My Head…
Saturday, 7 October 2006
10. One thing that I would import from the Spanish culture to my culture is sidewalk cafes. As you walk through Moncloa, or any neighborhood in Spain, up and down every street, you’ll pass sidewalk café after sidewalk café. At first when I came to Spain, I thought they weren’t a very friendly culture. The more time I spend here though, the better I am able to observe and understand. Today I had a quiet, humble meal at lunch time at one of these sidewalk cafes. It was situated just on the outskirts of Parque del Oeste and Parque de las Montañas. Today is Saturday, so all of the families were out together. It’s very common to see families. Even youth-age kids and older 20s-30s, with their parents, enjoying a stroll through the park with their little dog, or enjoying a café con leche or a caña (draft). Little kids run around like it’s their back yard, usually parents in toll fifty yards or so behind them–lollygaggin and talking with other adults. The beautiful thing about Spaniards not having a concept of private space, or the “bubble” that Americans are known for protecting, is that everyone shares the space. No one is a stranger. Many times you’ll see someone stop and have a conversation with someone they don’t know, because their dog has run up to that person’s dog to play (they don’t believe in leashes here). It’s really neat actually to see how the people pass their Saturday’s away. A peaceful afternoon using cafes and parks like living rooms. The parks are full of people–an old couple sitting on a bench, the woman with her shoes off sitting backwards to soak in the sun while her husband reads her the newspaper; a group of girls stretched out on the bench with a towel laid out in front for those who don’t fit on the bench, listening to their iPod, sharing snacks, reading a book; a man with his sketchpad; two boys kicking a soccer ball back and forth; a group of boys with their Coca-Cola and rum (soon to be reprimanded by the policía–drinking in public is (sort of) illegal); a woman sitting by herself enjoying a cigarette. The park is there at your disposal to relax and not rush in the new week.
Oh, Those Madrileños
Sunday, 22 October 2006