It’s been a long time since I was in Madrid. But some memory has called me back over the last few years. Increasingly, in Bali, the craving for long summer nights, wearing a light summer dress, walking down cobbled streets, nibbling on olives and sipping Rioja, brought me back to Europe again. My European roots could not be denied. And somehow, I think that I’ve only ever been to Madrid in August. The place is a ghost town – with most shops shut, and the locals wisely holidaying at the beach.
Fine with me! All I needed to do was walk for hours, inhale the city, listen to people talk, see the older men in braces – where gentlemen still take breakfast in hats; women in slippers and house-dresses – all the while wearing the aforementioned dress. I sat at cafes in tree-filled stoney squares. And somehow, something came full circle for me there. Madrid has exceptional buskers, I genuflected in a few churches, heard mass in Spanish and found my favourite chocolate bar.
Another moment of perfect timing – my friend arrived back in town just in time to sit and talk through the night. Perfection.