Landlady came to check the place (very cursorily) and return my 150€. She was one of those with whom it’s impossible for me to talk. I asked her twice within 5 minutes to ‘please speak slowly’. Made no difference either the first or the second time I asked. Always makes my speaking in Spanish worse as I understood little and she couldn’t speak slowly or without the Granadian running together of all consecutive words except ‘vale’ – a word used by everyone all the time like ‘sure, keep on’. Luckily we didn’t disagree on anything. As far as I know! Place was easy to keep clean as it was clean, is small and stuff is all there. I left a kettle, chopping board, sharp knives and a few other small things to enhance it.
Before finishing with Granada I wish I could convey how alive it is. My last night, Friday, 10pm and it’s not humming: it’s much more exciting and busier than that. Busy ++. I love it. Given a choice: home! Yes, hard to beat home. But I really enjoy being here too. Just went downstairs to get an ice cream and find where the wonderful, possibly live, opera music is coming from. Great ice cream but the music had stopped. I’m upstairs again now and hopefully it’ll start again soon. Yes, it did and I suspect it must have been live from the plaza next to the cathedral. Heaps of big and small plazas in the vicinity.
My last view from Granada airport – not towards the wonderful snow covered mountains, another direction.
Security at Granada airport
Hmmm, thank heavens I sent my pack as baggage from Granada airport. Otherwise I’d still be in security retrieving and repacking items hours later.
I set off the alarm as I went through the detector. No idea why. As a reward I got a nice, personal frisk from a friendly woman in the general area. Then I had to open my bag for the guy who watches things go through the x-ray device. He found nothing as there was nothing there to find. And then I was stopped again, by the next security man in line. ‘Explosives test’ I thought. No. I had to open my bag again and this one also went through it. A most unfriendly type who found nothing as there was nothing untoward in it and, before I’d shovelled everything back in again, he started filling in a form. He clearly has numbers to meet. So, I guessed I helped. Nothing found and a test finished quickly and every little line item probably helps him keep his job. And I gave all three members of gate security here today a sense of purpose. Thankfully I arrived early, was the only one in the line and had sent my pack with the luggage for once. The joys of travelling nowadays.
Arrival in Madrid
When the flight arrived in Madrid we all walked down the steps from the plane. The local arrivees loitered, watching the baggage come off. A cart with a lot of wheelies on it was brought over to the waiting group. My bag wasn’t on it and I don’t know why as it was smaller than many others. There must be a magic word to utter when checking in! Wish I’d known it as my pack was with the remaining luggage on the furthermost carousel. Would you believe carousel #19! And that was in terminal 4. Four other terminals are nearby(1, 2, 3, and 4S). Imagine the volume of luggage per day. Yes, it’s a big airport.
Caught a train from the airport, well, two as I had to change. Easy and cheaper than a taxi. Not as intrinsically satisfying as being chauffeured to my apartment last time in Madrid. Reclining in the mercedes, albeit without the grapes, as the world passed is not the usual option. The only problem I had catching the train was getting the ticket machine to take my 5€ note. So, JP, that’s how we’ll come into Madrid from the airport, by train. More interesting for a start seeing the bowels of the city!
Texted my new landlord as I arrived, as he’d suggested if I was early. I ordered a coffee and Samuel arrived 2 minutes after with his young son, 16 months and so cute. Grumpy as he was hungry but easily diverted as he was strapped in. Amazing how well confinement in a pusher works.
This next AirBNB listed apartment is great. Near school, not far from the CBD, and it seems quiet. Light, bright. Yes, very small but even has a chopping board and kettle, things I bought, and left, in Granada. And the owners come in and clean it once a week!
Best of all, the bedroom window overlooks a plaza with about 3 cafes. The super trendy one is where I had coffee when I arrived. So trendy that if you arrive alone they seat you at a table with others – yes, strategically for sales no doubt better too.
This is the view from the window – the trendy cafe is to the left, with a chair or two visible, and the others are to the right of the shadow.
Anyhow, while in the trendy cafe I overheard a number of American voices, surprisingly. Uni or language school students I guess as all are nearby and this is a trendy grunge area, no, better than grunge. Another cafe in the plaza below has the right sounding breakfast for tomorrow: coffee with toast, tomato and olive oil. All for 2.50€. Add fresh orange juice and it’s about 3.50€. Something like that. If it’s good I might give up my existing favourite place for working in Madrid, just near the school. Last time in school here, October 2014, I often went there after school.
After I arrived I set up the wifi 😊, unpacked, and went off to do the grocery shopping. And now? I’m knackered. Weeks of not sleeping well are catching up with me. I plan on an early night. Hope the neighbours are acoustically invisible. The usual double glazed doors block out most of the sound from the cafes below. So, here’s hoping.
Oh, the shot below of the name of a store: I figured the kiwis would recognise a Black Sheep!