Madrid Part II
It’s kind of funny titling this post “Madrid Part II” since it’s really part six thousand of hopefully six thousand more, but I’m back to continue recounting my recent visit to Madrid (see the previous entry here). I had left my camera’s card reader at Tasmin’s apartment, so I was unable to upload pictures from the second half of the trip, but my friend Rachel kindly offered to pick it up for me while she was visiting, so I’m back!
The weekend I went was a puente, meaning Tuesday was a holiday (Día de Todos los Santos, All Saint’s Day), so we were given Monday off as well. So I had a lovely 5-day weekend to spend in Madrid!
Sunday morning, Jean and I got up to go to El Rastro, Madrid’s weekly flea market. I’d been at least a dozen times before, but it’s always fascinating and enchanting. Somehow, despite the countless booths of diverse goods, I’ve never actually bought anything for myself there (aside from a drink or snack at a nearby convenience store), and, once again, I went without purchasing anything. I think there are just too many items to choose from.
The best find, it turned out, (other than another can of that Brazilian soda I love, Guaraná Antarctica) was a poster on one of the booths advertising a live performance of Rocky Horror the next day! Jean and I were thrilled! We’ve been regularly going to screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (with a live shadow cast that acts the movie out in front of the screen) for five years, so a performance in Spain? It must have been fate that Jean and I were together when we found it since we always went together (and with our group of friends). Jean was originally planning to leave Monday morning, but upon finding the poster, she decided to stay an extra day. I was super pumped up for spending Halloween night watching Rocky Horror.
After El Rastro, we took a stroll through Madrid, stopping for bocadillos at a restaurant near Plaza Mayor and then walking through Plaza Mayor again. There was a big Feria de Jamón (ham festival — are you at all surprised Madrid would host a ham festival?) in Plaza Mayor, but the line was too long, so we decided to skip it. We did get a sighting of everyone’s favorite creepy costumed Madrileño, Espiderman Gordo (Fat Spiderman)! We returned to Tasmin’s apartment to nap and then ended up spending most of the evening just relaxing at home, which, hey, was totally okay since all four of us had spent tons of time in Madrid already. My friend Karen, who I knew at UCLA and who’s getting her master’s in Valencia, was also in town that weekend with some friends, and she stayed at Tasmin’s apartment that night as well. So many people reunited in Madrid!
The next day, Halloween, Karen, Tasmin, and I ventured off toward the Malasaña/Tribunal/Chueca area to show it to Karen. It’s a great, kind of hippie area with lots of interesting shops and restaurants, so I was excited to return. On the way, we stopped in a market selling fresh fruits, fish, meats, etc. Spain seems to do those well. Then we continued, wandering around the neighborhoods, checking out some shops, getting a bit lost (the best way to travel!), and just enjoying the sunny day. Jean joined us later for lunch at a tapas bar, and then we returned to Retiro for another lovely stroll around the park. On the way home, we stopped at Templo de Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was donated to Spain years ago, where there’s also a great view of the sunset. Karen had to return to Valencia, so we said goodbye to her.
Jean and I picked up some cheap wigs at a convenience store (hey, it’s better than no costume at all), made dinner, and then headed back out for Rocky Horror! As we’re used to seeing it in a movie theater, we were surprised to enter a tiny standing-room-only concert venue. The show was definitely different from what we’re used to. The songs were all sung in English, albeit with ridiculous Spanish accents, of course, and between songs, a narrator told the story in Spanish. The only callbacks anyone seemed to know were “¡Puta!” and “¡Gilipollas!” (in the U.S., people shout — pardon my French — “Slut!” when Janet appears on screen and “Asshole!” when Brad appears), but, no worries, Jean and I filled in the rest. In English, of course, as jokes like, “Riffraff, how do you say ‘jello’ in Spanish?” don’t quite translate. We also sang along loudly to all of the songs. Perhaps the people around us were confused/annoyed, but, um, that’s the point of Rocky Horror. So we had a super fun time despite the fact that we seemed to be the only true fans in the audience. But Rocky Horror in Spain? Definitely a hilarious/awesome experience.
After the show, the plan was to meet up with Tasmin and her friends and head to Kapital, a popular 7-story discoteca, and we walked over there with them, but the line was insanely long, and we were exhausted (we figured our bodies thought it was like 3:30am since that’s when we’re used to finishing Rocky Horror), so we left. Good thing we did, because it turned out the “free” admission we were supposed to get was actually like 20€. Plus, the only bus back to Sevilla that wasn’t filled the next day was around 8am, so I had to get up early.
Early the next day, I said farewell (though not for long!) to the city I love so dearly and returned to Sevilla, fortunately sleeping throughout much of the bus ride. I was happy to come home to Sevilla, especially because I was eager about moving into my new house, but my weekend in Madrid was amazing. Great friends, fantastic city. Te amo tanto, Madrid.