The Road to Struggle is Paved with Good Intentions
This morning I woke up at 11:30. While for some people this might not seem like anything out of the ordinary, for me it is a bit odd, as I make a solid effort to rise daily before 10. As I have school five days a week here in Madrid, I usually wake up around 8:30 to make it to class on time, so on the weekends my system tends to be accustomed to getting up at a respectable hour. And because I really really really like sleeping, I tend to go to bed before the sun begins to rise in order to be able to wake up at these early hours. While to most people this might sound normal, here in Madrid if you aren't drunkenly watching the sunrise daily then, well, you aren't living. I've actually met people who come to Madrid for a three day period, just to party, and never ever see the city in daylight. (And I thought MY friends were partiers, hi Jon!) Thought this amazes me, I generally try to think about it as a practice of an extraterrestrial, that is to say, I can observe and respect it without really letting it impact my life. Or at least, I thought I could.
The fact is that the last two weekends when I have arrived in my apartment with every intention of going to sleep, waking up early, and generally being like everyone else in the world, well, Madrid just keeps getting in the way. During the period of time I fully expect to be sleeping I might, for example, find myself having a heated debate over American fast food chains with a frenchman while fighting a german girl for the last shot of whiskey. Or I might be talking about the Italian government with a pair of syblings from Turin while observing a Spanish barman ask a Chinese couple to leave. (Have I mentioned lately that this place might just be a wee bit racist?) Either way, when I look down at my watch it's at least 3 hours later then I think it should be and I'm within the 4 hour mark of sunrise. And the strange this is that almost everyone I live with has remarked on how early I turn in when we go out.
Now, I recognize that as a 22 year old living in a foreign country I really should probably want to explore the discotecas and body-shots so popular with the young people these days. But frankly the idea of pumping techno music and aging Spanish lotharios taking a break from their wives for the night doesn't exactly appeal to me. Moreover, I happen to think that there are plenty of things worth doing in this city or it's surrounding countryside while there is still sun in the sky, regardless of what some guidebooks would have you think. But I don't want to be rude, and at the end of the day it's better to be talking to drunken Swedish people then no one at all, so I end up going out most of the night AND, because I'm just too compulsive not to, exploring this area of Spain all day. I honestly don't think I'm going to sleep a full night until I return to the States.
For a fun beverage when drinking socially here, they literally mix red wine with coca cola. It's called calimocho and it's a real thing. What is it they keep saying about how sophisticated Europe is?
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.