Saturday, 14 July 2012

Hitch hiking and various other pastimes #6

..As it was getting darker by the second, I set up camp hastily next to a small tree on top of the great white cliffs. The terrain wasn't good but it would have to do. The slant and the grassy mounds made for an uncomfortable nights sleep, with the cold accompanying the evils to amount in only an hour or two of sleep.

I awoke groggily and with a sore neck at 6.45, packed up my soaking tent with numb fingers and trotted along the edge of the cliffs in a thick mist that barely allowed me to see the harbour.

'I now found myself suddenly in Madrid, a ridiculously large city, I was lost before I even entered the place. The past two days have been a complete blur, everything has flown past and it looks like tomorrow I will be getting a train to Granada, at a price of 69 Euros, which is very steep for someone on a budget like mine, even though I keep giving change to people in various places. Some would say I waste but I hope I was genuinely helping them and that in the long run, some form of Karmic presence might return my naivety/kindness. However, if there is anywhere in the world one would think Karma is lacking or any spirituality at all, it would in a sprawling metropolis like one I find myself in.

It has been quite a while since I have been in a city, let alone a foreign one and it is without a doubt very frightening and a definite shock to my overly tired senses. So many people! All of them rushing about their lives, it seems quite the opposite to the intimate nature of hitch-hiking. As I write, I break a smile to the people who stare at my intrepid scribbling, perched scruffily atop my backpack. My smiles are yet to be returned. While I am in the city however, I must describe on smile that was returned, after my unplanned arrival in a petrol station on the south west of this place. I stood wearily at the exit of a petrol station, without a clue where I was headed or an inkling as to which direction I wanted.

A passing driver pointed out my blatant mistake of flying a sign for Granada/Andalucia when facing into the city centre. My defence is that tiredness and stupidity are a match made in heaven. Me standing cluelessly on the outskirts of the city makes me wonder and gawp at how many people are going about their lives here and I cannot get my head around it one bit. It makes me think of a song by and artist my girlfriend showed me.. "it's so hard to go into the city (this bit was true for me by itself), because you want to say hello to everybody". For example a women with a skateboard just walked past, presumably for her son or possibly daughter, and I wanted to tell her she had made a good choice, but by the time I looked back up to pay a small compliment, she was gone.

This leads me all to explain why I am sitting on my bag in front of a graffiti'd wall in a strange district of the city. Well, next to the trendy shops which crowd my views and near the grates leading up from the subway, spewing out hot air on which discarded wrappers float up, up, up, there is a small bar called 'Bar Intruso', outside which there is a small group forming, and I can only presume that these are the anticipatories for Erick, the guy who helped me get here and is singing in said bar tonight.

I can only hope he hasn't been and gone already, this however, seems unlikely, as Madrilenos prefer to start late with their nightlife. In the haste of things I seem to have left out a vital fact, the young man who pointed out my cartographic mistake earlier was enough to lend me 1.50 for the metro, where I met Erick. Luckily, I also seem to be in a moderately nice part of the city, with most of the passers by being trendy young people or slightly older people with bags full of designer goods. And so, as darkness slowly creeps up on me in the Spanish capital, I must bag up my journal and scribble my down from the past 2 days another time. It could well be on the train tomorrow...'

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