Some highlights from an Americano after a full week in Madrid:
Sounds of motorcycles, mopeds, horns and sirens can actually be soothing if you give it a minute.
7 out of 10 people on the streets seem to smoke, anywhere.
Scarves can make any outfit fashionable. Especially in Madrid. But then Madrilènes could make trash bag dresses look cool.
The architecture is magnificent, with myriad towering steeples, daunting domes and intricate corbels – everywhere..
The eating schedule is a challenge to get the hang of. However if you say ‘tapa,’ you can be fed any time.
Don’t even think about ordering a martini in Madrid, unless you’re at an Americanized hotel bar. And what’s the fun in that anyway.
Remixes of pop American music from the seventies and eighties streamed throughout retail stores and one taxi ride treated me with Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. I wondered if they had an American flag button on the dashboard and tapped it when they saw us coming.
Politely attempting to speak the native tongue often is rewarded with a gracious welcome. Calm politeness can get you far in any city.
Drinking, of beer and wine especially, takes place all day. Seems to be five o’clock all the time. In most places beer choices were ‘large or small’ rather than our overkill assortment of brewery concoctions.
Servers never walk away from your restaurant table with your credit card, instead bringing a device to the table, which makes much more sense when it comes to security.
If you can figure out the metro (subway) on your own as I did, high-five yourself. It’s a maze down there that makes Manhattan subways look like a walk to your mailbox.
Beautiful iron balconies, balconies and more balconies everywhere you look.
Old Madrid is my favorite area, overflowing with rich history at every turn.
Every door I pass on the street in Old Madrid is a masterpiece in and of itself.
Everyone on the streets looks like they put some thought into what they are wearing — even the joggers.
Flamenco dancing. Now I totally get it. Sexy, emotional and heart pounding. Parts made me cry. Wow.
Bull fights. Couldn’t do it. I know its tradition, but the thought of watching eight bulls die brutally and some horses die as collateral damage for human entertainment weakened my knees and hurt my heart.
The city is beautifully clean and lush.
Dog breeds of popular choice on the streets are Bulldogs and Yorkies.
Ham (jambon) is to Madrid what pizza is to New York and hot dogs are to Chicago.
And there you have it, for now.
Ps: I’m announcing a caption writing contest for that last random photo post I did of a Ferrari in traffic in Madrid (contest jokingly suggested by one of my readers). Submit yours as a comment on that last post and the caption that makes me laugh the most wins an exciting prize, or at least gets a public pat on the back. Honorable mentions will be listed as well.
Many cooler pics to come. Madrid was a wonderful experience and opportunity.