Thirty six hours after leaving San Diego, we arrived in Madrid. I was immediately impressed by the architecture of the Madrid Barajas Airport. I’m not sure if the lack of sleep from two red-eye flights had anything to do with the euphoria I was feeling on my way to the baggage claim, but I was fascinated nonetheless.
Our hosts for the 24 hour stay in Madrid were relocated Peruvians Graciela, Hector and their little girl Gracielita. It was my first time meeting them; Rosario met Hector and Graciela in PerÃº four years ago. They’ve moved to Madrid in search of a “better life” as the saying goes. I typed out “American Dream” and then deleted it because I suppose it couldn’t be accurate since they are in Spain . . . but it’s basically the same ambition.
When we arrived at their flat, Graciela offered us the famous Spanish jamÃ³n serrano with cheese on triangles of white sandwich bread. It’s a good thing my understanding of “authenticity” is already well warped, because a Mexican and U.S. American served a traditional Spanish food on white bread by Peruvians would otherwise seem strange. I ate my serving and Rosario’s as well (she hadn’t warmed up to the idea of eating raw pig yet).
We took a nap to recover a bit from the jetlag and then headed downtown for a tour. The urban train system was much cleaner than the NYC metro we used 12 hours earlier. We wandered around and took a few pictures. The central downtown area was beautiful. It’s no coincidence the architecture reminded us of older cities in MÃ©xico; many of these buildings could have been built by the same people at the same time in MÃ©xico.
We left the next morning on route to Elche.