Sunday, November 24, 2002

Sunday.Still raining. Not much else for me to do other than go to an internet cafe.

I m nearly here a full week and I have roamed every part of madrid either looking for particular language schools or apartments or salsa clubs. Not once have I felt in any way uneasy about the area I was in or in any way threatened by any characters on the streets. There is one apparently dodgy district according to the guides but what amazes me is that it does not spill over into the tourist parts or the main plazas. But perhaps I have spoken too soon. I ve never come across this in all my travels.

Where do Tapas come from ? Years ago bartenders used to put saucers over the glasses of beer to keep the flies away. Then they began to place small sandwiches on them which became a national custom. And there you have it - travel is education !

One really odd thing about the place is in the clothes shops, unlike Eire, all of the mens departments are on the top floor or at the back of the shop. I think that sums up the difference between Irish lads and spanish chicos. There is no way that most Irish lads would bother going to the effort of finding the mens section if it is not put right inside the door, under our noses. I think it is called vanity.

I start language classes tomorrow night. I m trying to bluff my way into a more advanced class.

Cuban salsa classes tonight. I m going to make a fool of myself but at least I won t know anybody.