Saturday, March 05, 2005

Sometimes I´m embarrassed to be American

* American man on shuttle bus at the airport: "I hate it here. I wish I were at home reading my email instead."

* American woman admonishing the front-desk clerk at our hotel: "In MY COUNTRY we can check out of our hotels without having to talk to YOU."

* Dubya. ´Nuff said.

* To make matters worse, it looks like America´s chief exports to Europe are McDonald´s, Burger King and Adidas. I am SO proud.

* * * * *

In other news, our luggage arrived today (woo-hoo!) while we were out shopping and taking pictures of places with names like Cock Bar and Museum of Ham. And we had a delightful breakfast of churros y chocolate at a charming little coffee shop, while the people next to us started their day with pastries and beer. And I´m now the proud owner of three pair of totally sweet new shoes. The green pair next door to our hotel is still calling my name, though. And there IS a lot of room in my suitcase. Stay tuned.

My rarely used Spanish is coming back in spades, and I´ve surprised myself a couple times already by having complete, coherent conversations with store clerks and waiters. But when the shoe lady tried to sell me some shoe cream today when I was trying to make my purchases, the look of abject confusion on my face totally gave me away as a tourist. BUSTED!

A few more observations about Madrid: The place is dripping with European charm and spectacular -- almost pornographically gorgeous -- architecture. The men are all well-groomed and rather pretty. Everyone has fabulous shoes. The guy handing you your churro at the bakery will probably do so with a cigarette in his mouth. There is a large population of homeless people with Thalidomide-like birth defects. The sidewalks are narrow, the crowds are thick and the cars zoom by in ways that only the Americans find alarming. And I keep catching myself wondering if I could be happy living here.

On the rest of today´s agenda: The Prado. Some castle I´ve never heard of. Those green shoes. Another fabulous dinner. Perhaps a nightclub.

And, of course, endless blogging.


KevinBarefoot said...

Please keep posting frequently from Europe! I am really enjoying your posts!

Mawes said...

I come from a faraway land. Here, the purpose of shoes is to keep one's feet warm and cozy. "Warm and cozy" = "Brown, biege, black." I suspect the purpose of green is not to be warm and snuggly. So now I'm all over this "green" thing. Green...GREEN...greeeeeen. Do you have a picture? A picture would be handy.

Right. Gotta go.

Still pondering Green,


bagel said...

Adidas is German, started in the 1930s by Adi Dassler and his brother - whose names escapes me... his brother went on to found Puma shoes.... just to let you know!