Madrid & Luciana

The world is a complicated thing into which we have to fit. People are so rich brilliant and incredibly strong yet also delicate and fragile. It can be a joy to watch people grow up making sense of the world and making their lives their own. But also it is so painful to see people for whom life is a struggle or a puzzle they can’t seem to unlock. Mental illness can be a terrible thing that some people have to bear, sometimes with heavy consequences. It can be so hard for them and also for the people around them. A wonderful vibrant beautiful girl I first met when I was 17 and she was 3 took her own life on Monday. It is very very sad and difficult to make sense of.

Just spent a nice evening in Madrid’s centre on my own after working very hard for 2 days in the Madrid suburbs. I didn’t have any mental pictures of Madrid in my head ( and kind of failed to check your tips before setting off) but emerged from the metro on Gran Via and gasped. Gran Via is an incredibly beautiful kind of Art Deco street with really cool tall awesome but not modern buildings. I like it also cos even though Gran Via probably means Great or Big Street in Spanish I like the idea of it being called Gran Street , ie a street dedicated to your Gran, or maybe the abstract concept of Gran.

Puerta Del Sol is like a cross between Leicester Square and Wenceslas Square, although like ‘The Cube’ it’s not a square. A glorious boiling mass of humanity all ages and races all going somewhere. I kind of became aware of thousands of stories brushing past each other, thousands of pairs of eyes each with a whole universe of thoughts, feelings, hopes and ideas behind them. ( I had had a beer or two and was waxing a tad cod philosophical…) Then I discovered a little piece of heaven on earth – Pollo en Carbon. I don’t think that was the name of the place I think it just means BBQ chicken.

It was like what Nandos would be like if it was…er….. real. Beer. Chicken. Footy. Salsa. Great. Being immersed in large crowds of young people out having fun on a saturday night is good for the soul (bruised or otherwise). Looking forward to getting home tomorrow.

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