Sunday, January 31, 2016

Penultimate Madrid notes . . .

Well, the muezzin was at it again at 7 yesterday morning, even though there were no decorators with a radio next door, but he had a day off today.

I'm a great admirer of Spain's waiters and waitresses, who (by and large) work hard for not very much money and (usually) little by way of tips. I went to the Catedral cafe for breakfast again this morning and was pleasantly surprised when the lovely waitress volunteered my order of yesterday before I could voice it. Impressive, no?

My elder daughter lives in the central (and very lively) Madrid barrio of Malasaña. She's always been very happy there but is ambivalent about the replacement of old shops – thanks to rental increases? - by unSpanish fast food outlets. One of these is a hot dog bar, where they serve a Menú Elvis of 2 large hot dogs and a cola drink. Presumably one shouldn't eat this on the toilet.

Last night I went to a Milonga, to watch my daughter and her Argentinean boyfriend dance the tango. She was as beautiful as ever and they were clearly the best couple on the floor. It was a delightful event to observe and I regretted not being able to get up and trip a light fantastic. Or even do the tango with one or more of the many single ladies sitting around the edges of the floor. Where's that bloody bucket list?

Another beautiful member of my family is my first grandchild, Grace, born to my younger daughter almost 5 months ago. Astonishingly, there's a universal belief that she looks like me. Something to do with the eyes, they suggest. And, says my daughter, the occasional scowl. Anyway, I hardly think this is the best start in life for the poor creature. Hopefully she'll grow out of me.

Like me, you might not be aware that Madrid's Barajas airport has become the Adolfo SuárezMadrid-Barajas airport. Which is quite a mouthful, even for Spaniards. I must have missed the fanfare and publicity around this. Perhaps they used the same PR agency as the Hacienda did with the introduction of the vicious Modelo 720 tax law back in 2012. Which we all somehow missed.

As I've said, the computers of Google and Facebook don't seem that clever. I've just been offered a long-distance course in Hebrew. Which I can't say I've ever previously considered.

Finally . . . More fine Madrid buildings. Fine, that is, if you like what I suspect is frequently dismissed by modern architects as "wedding cake" stuff. But we all know what they're capable of, don't we.



















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