As a small child it always confused me that Spanish was the language of Mexico. Despite being raised speaking English in the United States of America, it seemed disappointing that I would always see and hear the Spanish language, but never any Spanish people. Well, that all ended this week. Persona de España, árbol de España, restaurante chino de España, gato blanco de España, y más! I got to see them all! With all the experiencing I’m doing, I have very little time to document besides taking pictures, so this entry will be a collection of picture galleries. I’ll start with a few easy ones while I’m in Spain, and finish up with some more detailed storytelling after I’ve gotten back.
¡Graffiti de España!
The first thing you notice in Madrid, at least if you’re near the university instead of in the tourist area, is graffiti. There’s graffiti everywhere. Lots of colorful, artful graffiti, but also, especially on campus, simple messages in black paint. Most of these appear to be pro-communist or anti-fascist messages, but I also saw some that praised the prevalence of Catholicism in Spain. One graffiti was an elaborate full-color portrait of a woman surrounded by a bicycle chain. There were a few messages written around the edges as well, maybe some Spanish scholars reading my blog can translate them. One picture includes the proud artist, who told me in proficient English precisely what he was aiming for when he tore off the metro poster to reveal the poster beneath. “There is another face. Half man, half woman!” he beamed.
¡Flora y Fauna de España!
The Spanish foliage was generally beautiful. The birds were exciting, but difficult to capture on camera. The bright green birds were monk parakeets, I believe. There were also large black birds like ravens but with white spots that I dubbed “orca birds,” and small birds that always seemed to be flying around in swarms. They seldom stopped for long enough to clearly make out, let alone record, any features. One got trapped in a huge cathedral I visited and just flew around and around in wide circles the whole time I was there. The pigeons were docile, though. They seemed to be asleep on their roosts on top of the statues near the royal palace. The area that looks like an arboretum was on the way between our hotel, AC Hotel Los Vascos, and the university.