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Greetings from Madrid (1)

No problems with the travel getting here. I was sitting in the bar in Atlanta, nursing a beer while waiting for my flight to board, when in walks a Russian girl who sits down beside me, and orders a beer and a shot. She didn´t have much time left; her flight for Moscow was leaving soon and she wanted to pound a few before boarding. She invited me to a shot because she said in her culture, two was bad luck and there had to be three, so she bought me a shot of Jack Daniels, we drank up and she was gone.

Didn´t sleep a wink on the plane, so when I got to my hostal I took a long nap. When I finally woke up, I went walking around, reacquainting myself with the city. It´s been six years since I´ve been here. I had a bocadillo de anchoas con tomate and a beer, and then took the metro up to the Salamanca neighborhood where I visited the Sorolla museum. He was a painter from Valencia who worked at the end of the nineteenth century, beginning of the twentieth. His painting is a cross between Velazquez and the French impressionists. I like the museum because it´s small, it occupies the house where the painter lived.

The subway on the way back was packed beyond belief.

Later in the evening, I went for tapas, patatas bravas at Las bravas (fried potatoes with a special hot sauce) and then up to El Gaucho (one of my favorite places to eat in Madrid), for a morcilla (blood sausage) and a glass of wine. They told me that the old gaucho who used to man the grill had retired.

After that I went to the Cafe Central for some live jazz. I saw Josetxto Goia Arribe y la Orquesta Jamalandruki. Sax, trumpet, trombone, drums and tuba. At first I thought it sounded like kletzmer crossed with jazz, but then the leader told us that the music was based on the traditional sounds of his native Pamplona, and especially the sounds of San Fermin, like the paso dobles they play at bullfights. This is crossed with a jazz sensibility. A good show, I´ll write more on it when I have more time.

This afternoon I´ll take a bus to Granada.
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I like the story about the Russian!

You really managed to pack in a full day there considering you hadn't slept on the plane! Good for you! Too bad I wasnt' at Las Bravas!

May 2019



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