Speaking of the weather
Forget global warming! Based on this week in Madrid it’s not happening in this country.
The week started deceptively. Cold enough that snow should have been lying on the ground with continuous hail falling and making life really miserable. But no! It was snowing down to 800m or so, lower I’ll swear, on all the hills between here and Segovia and Avila. But neither snow nor hail in the city. So far. Cold lances through my jeans and gloves are essential.
The tv advised that tomorrow would be worse over most of spain: colder, windier and with snow down even lower on the hills. Poor poor people out walking caminos in Spain now. It’s much colder than the cold and wet 2013 in which I first walked in Spain. Lots more snow too than that year.
Still, once spring gets into gear it’ll warm up very quickly, look at historical temperature data. 😁 (And I’m deliberately starting down south in the warmer and drier weather.) 🤨
Meanwhile, despite the rain, invisible ice and snow, the crowd outside the Prado slowly waited patiently, shuffled forwards, waited some more and so on for hours.
An unexpected outcome of the recent power failure in the apartment is I can now change tv channels. It must have caused the tv magic box to reset. It means I have more options than the programs on gold fever, wedding dress selection and life for people weighing 300kg or 300lb. (I prefer the South American name of that last program, ‘kilos mortales’, picturesque.)
And I now have news channels, shopping channels, sports channels, religion to go, programs such as Hawaii 50 and the back catalogue of Paramount films a la 1940, and many much loved spanish soapies. As well as the wedding dress, gold fever and 300 something channels. All, of course, only in Spanish. And with a quality that is inversely proportional to the number of channels. Yup, not good. U tube here is a bonus.
You want to know about my wild nights here?? Hmmm. 💃💃💃💃. You’ve heard all there is to know. 😏
Being ripped off or not
Headed off to the local paper shop to buy a school workbook. On the way i was stopped by a woman who told me she wanted money for the train as she’d just been robbed. I had a feeling it wasn’t true, that it was a scam, but I really don’t know. Told her I didn’t speak Spanish, in Spanish of course (true), and kept walking. I watched her afterwards. She had also mentioned the police but was heading away from the local station. She didn’t stop any other women in the street and 99% of the time I’m picked as British, German or Swedish (yeah, a foreigner). So, I’m guessing it was a scam. But still feeling uncomfortable that it might not have been.
And at first sight I wondered what I was seeing just after, which end did what:
And another bit of confusion derived from the following statue.
Except for her unremarkable (unfilled) lips, her other perfect attributes left me remembering a woman I met last year. Yes, the one married to a much older man with a lot of money and who (she, not him) was obliged to remain perfectly well endowed. Left me wondering again why sculptors often based their female designs on male bodies.
Continuing local news story
My favourite news story here remains THE master of laws degree and the leader of the PP party in Madrid, Cifuentes (Cs). Did Cs earn her masters, if not, how comes she claims one and, does she in fact have one? Who signed the paperwork etc? Lots of shots of Prime Minister Rajoy, same party, giving her the double Spanish kiss. Story is of great interest here.
She has finally resigned! Days later. Wish I could figure how it got to this stage. Who blew the whistle and why she would (apparently) falsely claim one when she was such a senior politician in Spain and it was checkable. Why?
Finally the police are actively investigating what happened. Very interesting.
Two things I’d planned to buy in Madrid, a new pocket knife and a hat. If ever you need a pocket knife here, Simon’s, in the centre, is great. He’s helpful and has a good range.
And as to the hat: I knocked back the €125 panama hat as a little (?) more than I wanted to spend. That left me buying a more expensive version of my daggy old ‘solar powered’ hat. Oh well. The price? I’m still getting over the trauma. No photos until I’m wearing it but I’ll be looking for feathers or ribbons to personalise it! Anything.
Wait, and you’ll see why soon enough. When you do, remember I started with many options I liked. And maybe you’ll puzzle about the outcome like I still am. However, it will be effective at protecting the crunchy tops of my ears, an area that suggests sunscreen is imperfect. So, despite my options I bought…..
Where are you from?
Interesting how indirectly politics still enters our classes. The content of our textbook and conversations are carefully constructed to be devoid of political content but: South Koreans are not from Korea but SOUTH Koreans and people from the states of Russia are not Russians but from a named place within Russia. Like the Catalans who resist being spanish. In something as apparently innocuous as giving self identification information in class (where are you from) you can guarantee interesting information.
Nine expected in the class yesterday with a new week but, only 5 turned up. And the next day 5, but only 3 of us had come the previous day. The Chinese couple miss about 50% of the classes, him even more. Hard for Mario, the teacher, at times to not be obliged to reteach content. He doesn’t. Thankfully. We’d never get anywhere if he did.
Next week we should all go up to the higher level of B. This system has only two levels for B, B1 and B2.
The one hour daily discussion class today was brilliant. Five of us present. Three on a ‘tribunal’ who had to examine the other 2 individually to establish if their ‘marriage’ was real or one of convenience. Brought out the best in our ‘couple’. She, much older than him, waxed indignant so beautifully that we could imply her ‘marriage’ was a sham despite her being rich etc. And he was very droll coping with our various doubts. Oh yes, both were excellent.
Living in Las Letras suburb
More on this later but I was wondering today if I traced a radius of 100m from where I am now just how many shops, bars, cafes and restaurants would be in my net. The answer is: a lot.
I am very happy with this location. Interesting places all around. And, of course, the ubiquitous Irish pub, relocatable to almost anywhere in the world. Which country? City? Allll the same. 😇