Saturday, February 21, 2009

Settling in

I'd forgotten just how completely crazy Madrid can be -- people out and about at all hours of the day and night. Yesterday was a terrific day -- got some necessary chores taken care of in the morning. Then, as if to make me feel at home, when I went out to get some lunch (around 2pm or so), in quick succession, a few random occurrences helped dispel that "alone in the big city" feeling.

The first was, just as I was leaving the building, I bumped into the mailman who was vainly scanning the mailboxes for a "David Giltinan". It seemed impossible, as I hadn't remembered giving the address to anyone. But no, when I talked to my Scottish friend Yvonne on Saturday before leaving S.F. I had given her the address, and sure enough - he had a welcoming letter from Yvonne to brighten my day. Then, when I reached ROOT, one of my favorite restaurants from when I was here last time, the hostess greeted me, all smiles - and remembered me, even to the point of asking after my cats "with the Russian names". Now, granted, this was just professional hospitality on her part, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel nice to be remembered and welcomed. Later on in the afternoon, just wandering along, I spied a familiar face - someone waving at me from one of the little cafes - it was Pedro, director of the DonQuijote school. So that, all of a sudden, I didn't feel quite so far from home.

All in all, an afternoon that made me feel welcome to be back in Madrid, and not quite so anonymous. I'm really psyched about starting classes again on Monday morning. It'll be interesting to see how much of my Spanish I remember, and whether I picked up any really bad linguistic habits down in Buenos Aires.

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