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Greetings from Madrid (2)

I hung around just a little too long in Avilés. I got to the bus station in Oviedo yesterday afternoon around seven to find out that there were no more buses to Madrid until after midnight. So I bought my ticket and bided my time, reading an old New Yorker magazine. And then during the bus trip (from 12:30 to 6:30 a.m.) I found myself sitting across the aisle from two old men who didn´t sleep a wink (they were probably the only ones on the bus who didn´t) and who talked loudly the whole night long. I couldn´t check in to my hostal until 9:00, so I hung around the bus station early this morning, finishing the magazine and drinking coffee until 8:30. Once in the hostal, believe me, it was nap time.

Well, my Spanish interlude is coming to an end. I´ll try to make the best of these few hours that I have left. It´s been fun, and for the most part, things have worked out just right.

So today I woke up around noon, showered, and headed up to Moncloa to visit the Museo de América, where they have exhibits on indigenous Americans and on the Spanish colonization of the Americas. I especially like the paintings from Nueva España (today Mexico) in which the painters outline racial classifications:

¨De español e india nace mestizo¨ (from a Spanish man and an Indian woman a mestizo is born)

¨De español y negra nace mulato¨ (from a Spanish man and a black woman a mulato is born)

These are the ones that are to be expected. But there are many more, such as...

¨De indio y negra nace lobo¨ (from an Indian man and a black woman a ´wolf´ is born ... with time the word became ¨zambo¨as in ¨Sambo¨)

¨De indio y mestiza nace coyote¨ (no translation needed)

¨De epsañol y albina nace tornaatrás¨ (from a Spanish man and an albina woman is born a Turnbackwards)

and so on.

I will now decide whether I want to go row in the pond in Retiro park or go back to my room for a little nap. I think I´ll go back to Café Central tonight to hear some more jass: a quartet with harmonica, piano, bass and drums. My flight leaves tomorrow at 11:30. If things go according to plan, by tomorrow night I´ll be back in Carolina.

As I said before, once I get back to the states, I´ll sit down and tweak my entries, to incorporate the notes I´ve been taking in my little notebook.

Next Sunday morning I´ll be back on the air with Catamount Community Radio.
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May 2019



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