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Monday, December 11, 2017


I went to the Rastro on Sunday. It's a big weekly market that sells all sorts of stuff, from enormous bras to furniture and old books.
Every street has it's own speciality. This is the junk street.....I mean fine vintage items. I love this stuff. Bought a couple of old books, some fur pieces (No, I don't know why, but they felt soft), and some art. There was a couple selling zines and posters from an art collective. Andres and Laura. We exchanged cards and I'm so glad I took the time to make hand made calling cards. One the way home I stopped at the Mercado de San Miguel. It's a lovely glassed in old market that's been turned into a trendy tapas, drinks and deserts place. I had a Sangria. I'm so not used to drinking that I was tottering home. Smiling inappropriately. A lovely day.
But today, Monday, it was time to face the police to get my NIE number, which is a tax number you need for all sorts of transactions, like opening a bank account. Stood out in the cold at 8:30 for a half hour before the place opened. There were already about 50 people ahead of me. When there was only two people ahead of me to the door, a police officer came out and said that they were not taking anymore requests for NIE numbers today. I went in anyway and found out that I already been issued the NIE number in New York. Great!!!! Except then I went home and tried to make an online appointment to get the actual card. It's a long process. And not in English, so I had to look up phrases I didn't recognize. After filling out the whole form I reached the end at which point it said that there were no appointments available but try again. I tried again, and again. The same result. I googled it and it seems you just must keep doing it for hours or even days and you might get lucky. Or not. In the meanwhile got a note from Fed Ex that they could not find the address I gave them for my luggage. Called and spoke or rather listened to a very rude fed ex woman. No, they would not email me or text me when they were outside. Just lets cut to the chase, and it was a long chase: I ended up renting a space in a storage facility. Thank goodness for the 3 fishes guys, who are renting me this airbnb. They have been so helpful and told me where there was a storage place. So Andrea, that's why I couldn't chat on WhatsApp.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Day One......ARRRGH!!!

Arrived in Madrid, muy tired. I’m waiting at this cafeteria for Airbnb boy. Nothing of significance happened except I had a mini existential crisis when the plane was landing in Madrid. I thought, “What the F..... are you doing?”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mayhem in Madrid

Sunday started promisingly with me going to the local cafe and ordering coffee and a spliff. The waiter couldn't help but smile; he must hear that all the time. But he did suggest that I might prefer a PORRA which is a large churro rather then a PORRO which is a large Marijuana cigarette.
Later, I went to the Rastro which is a humungous flea market, full of junk but fun to browse.  It goes on endlessly and stretches out into side streets.
Later that day I had a ticket for Las Ventas, which, yes, is the bullfight ring of Madrid. I won't describe what I saw.
What happens in Las V. stays in Las V.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hanky Panky in Leon

Okay, I know that in the best of all possible worlds the lion will lay down with the lamb. But ON TOP of the lamb?  Or maybe he ate the lamb and is pooping it out. Whatever. The guy who made this sculpture was probably sent back to bible studies class.
Leaving Leon tomorrow. Being here has reminded me of everything that I love about Spain : nice people, great food, beautiful countryside and fantastic history and art. I've loved walking along the narrow streets that will suddenly open to small plazas. This is what enthralls me about Spain.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Leon Taming

Leon has been taming me. I love this city, full of nice people, great museums and delicious food. Yesterday,  as I was taking my paseo, I heard horns and drums and the clacking of castanets. A small procession was passing in the streets, and I hurried/hobbled to keep up with them. Look at the beautiful, traditional necklaces they are wearing. One of the women told me these were true antiques, passed down in their families.
Romanesque art is my favorite, and this city is full of it. Here's a scene from hell above the door to the Cathedral. What's not to love?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Back in Sevilla

I returned to Sevilla after my walk, only to discover that madness still reigned here. The Feria had begun. Not sure about its origens, but Feria is party time. All the ladies dress flamenco style and everyone dances Sevillanas all night.
I only was staying overnight but I took a walk to the fair ground to see what was going on. It wasn't dancing time yet but the ladies were all arriving in their finery. Young, old, it didn't matter. Cell phones and cigarettes seem to be added accessories. Personally, I loved the horses.
Leaving Sevilla at 7 this morning, I still saw people coming home from the Feria.