November 4, 2008

Third Day in (cold) Madrid.

This has nothing to do with the writing in this post, but I loved this sign that was up in a tapas bar I was in my first night. It translates to:

Singing is prohibited.

I didn’t get much sleep Monday night which I think was due to ruminating a lot about the election, life as I have known it for the past 2 months and three weeks, life as it is going to be after I return, and just thoughts running through my head at warp speeds until almost 3 in the morning. I tried reading (though had a TERRIBLE book which I have since abandoned after plugging through over 200 pages and convincing myself it would get better. It didn’t.). I tried watching/interpreting a terrible movie with Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, and Bruce Willis. Nothing helped as soon as I would have liked it to but alas I did finally fall asleep; only to be awakened at 8:14 by that construction I mentioned a few posts back.

Anyhow, I wouldn’t let tiredness slow me down since it was my last day in Madrid and I had only until about 5 at night before I needed to make my way to the airport. So I started it yet again at ye ole’ faithful La Suiza for breakfast and some writing and then walked west again towards my first destination of the day which was Monasterio de las Descalzes Reales (which literally means Monastery of the Barefoot Royals). On the walk I passed a chain bookstore which I knew sold a good collection of books in English so I stopped in to remedy the book “problem” I have had for the past month and a half called “Night Train to Lisbon” by a Swiss author (I wasn’t going to mention it by name but if you happen to be darting around Barnes & Noble – or the library – and this catches your eye, I would like to save you the time, effort and 10Euros).

Armed with the prospect of a new book (which I must say I have already dove into 160 of its 540 pages and I am VERY happen with my decision. It is called “White Teeth” by an English author named Zadie Smith who won a few awards for it when it was first published in 2000. I will of course let you know when I finish it if I would recommend it.) I made my way to the monastery to find out they do indeed give tours in English (RoughGuides had told me only Spanish and that you could just walk around the monastery if you wanted, sans guide) and that’s the only way to see the place. I ended up having to wait 45 minutes but there was a Corte Ingles nearby so I popped in and just wandered around since it was warm in there until it was time to head back to take my tour.

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