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madrid: hotel urban
November 22, 2007, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Great Stuff


It´s a very strange beast, travelling from the third world to the first world.

I´m sitting in the VIP lounge at the Madrid train station waiting to catch the AVE train (Alta Velocidad Española,literally, “Spanish High Speed,” but also a play on the word ave, meaning “bird”)  to Seville . It can achieve speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph) on dedicated track. But I´m w.a.i.t.i.n.g. to get on it.

I remember that some of the first words I learned in South America was ‘form a line’ and this tradition of patiently waiting to be served holds in Spain too. Everywhere I walked today people were lined up to buy lottery tickets.

In Thailand, if you´re Hiso, you neither walk nor wait. At the end of any street you will find a phalanx of motorcycles waiting to take you any distance  more than 20 meters and it is a super fun way of cooling down in the Bangkok heat. My colleague, Ceri, tells me that this is the way she dries her hair in the morning. You can also  get to your destination much faster by these mad cutting through traffic antics as  it usually doesn´t moove much more than 7km an hour .

Today is the first day I´ve eaten in ages. I got a noxious bout of something or other in Bangkok and the 20 hours of travelling to get to Madrid didn´t help. Neither did the fact that, while I arrived, my bags didn´t. By the time I arrived at my hotel all I wanted to do was sleep, horizontally, in clean sheets, alone and not in the company of 400 people. Which I did- for about 18 hours. I guess I needed that. Thank you Hotel Urban- you were a very soft place to land.

But back to the eating. In Thailand while I love to eat like a native, it might have been the source of my troubles. In Spain I´m going there too- and I’m sure that’s why I feel so fabulous right now. Hot chocolate that really just chocolate liquidy goodness for breakfast. Lunch at a place called ‘Mueso de Jamon’ which is, you guessed it Ham Museum evidenced by hundreds of different kinds of Jamon Iberico. In Australia this stuff sells for over $350 a kilo. Here they stuff it into crunchy rolls by the handful and chuck in a cafe con laite and a freshly squeezed oj for 3 euros. I could get used to this. 


1 Comment so far
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Dear Katy,

what a disaster. So sorry to hear that you weren’t well after your few days with us. The fact that Nick and I were fine means that either you were unlucky with a prawn, or that our stomachs have toughened up a bit. Have a great holiday and Bangkok wants you back soon!

Comment by James




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