Where Was I? 18 June, 2022

I’m sitting in a cool, humongous room on a very large bed, with my legs outstretched, high above Plaza de San Martin in Madrid. I spent the early morning and part of the afternoon at a horse show my old friend, Marti and his kids were participating in. It’s f’g hot here. Unusual for our world, but the new, I’m afraid, normal.

Before I came up here I chatted with a woman from Santiago, Chile while we drank iced coffees in the hotel atrium lobby. Traveling by myself is both interesting in that I make a point of meeting people in whatever language we can (this includes hand gestures and laughter) and sometimes lonely, especially when I think about my dearly departed Max and how we might’ve enjoyed this adventure together. But heck I’m here, so here I (continue to) go.

You can see the heat coming off the “you could fry and egg on it” sidewalk right now and there is a whole lotta pavement here in Madrid. This is precisely why I have resisted getting up from my cool pool of 1200 threadcount sheeted bed. I’m going to mull on this idea for a while.

A two hour nap later …I have just been awakened by what sounds like a rock concert

outside my window. Upon further inspection and a call to reception I have learned there is a special music event on the back steps of El Corte ingles, just down the street, I’m going to investigate. Be right back. And yes I will get dressed first.

I’m back. The kids were screaming for more from the bands. The store security was all a flutter with walkie-talkie chirps and mumbles. I spent a few minutes listening, tapping my feet and bobbing my head, decided to return the belt I bought last week that was from Levis (it seemed d’trop to buy a name brand), have a slight browse for god knows what, then to seven escalators down, got some snacks on the grocery floor. There were too many choices of yogurts and puddings. Had I been staying longer I would’ve loaded my cart for a taste test. I didn’t get much and none I bought was suitable for dinner. I’m going to the Restaurant downstairs -it’s easy and I’m lazy.

Oh…My…Tomato…Season. I ordered a liter of pelligrino and managed to drink it all over the course of my dinner of a caprese salad with extra lettuces. The goddess of garden goodness, aka Gaia herself, is to be thanked. There were: three, 7” dia. salad plate sized, 1/2”thick slices (I kid you not) of the tastiest, freshest tomatoes, interspersed ever so beautifully with fresh buffalo mozzarella, giant basil leaves, semi crunchy sun dried olive slices (you read that right), an assortment of mixed greens with an herb dressing which I will attempt to replicate when I’m near an actual kitchen. The plate on which this bounty was presented measured probably 11 or 12” and it was loaded. I ate the whole damn thing in a dining room occupied solely by moi. I oohed, ached, crunched and munched. I was, I thought, too full for dessert. It was 9:30 when I went up to my room.

I decided to pack. I honestly thought I could do the whole thing…you know, cram one plastic ziplock bag with underwear, sit on it, deftly squeezing the air out, then the same with tops, another with pants, and be done in a jiffy. And I did this, mostly. But I had turned on the tv and was half attempting to understand a poorly dubbed American comedy and also trying to load my teensy suitcase. All this and the glass crock of dark chocolate pudding was calling me from the fridge. There was no other choice but to answer the call. And it was good.

I’m going to pack in the morning. Talk to you later. It’s 11 and I need sleep.

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