Monday, May 16, 2011

Marathon Weekends

While I absolutely love how action packed my weekends here in Madrid are, Mondays are always painful.  From Thursday to Sunday my responsibilities are over and with perfect weather, incredible friends, and constant festivities, it's impossible for me to not get sucked into the vibe.  I could resist, but why?  This is the time to enjoy.  Still, I can't help wondering if I need to give my body a break and sacrifice missing out of some of the action.

It never ceases to amazing me how many exciting things constantly happening in this country.  After an epic night out Friday, I sealed the blinds shut to block out any peep of the already rising sun managing to eek out some sleep before chanting from outside my window stirred my curiousity and pulled me out of my cozy bed.  A demonstration, among many this weekend, was occuring down below with scores of Spanish flags waving and a sea of unbrellas of the on-looking crowd lining the streets for as far as I could see.  I spent as much time as I could bear observing the passionate political scene before hopping on the metro and getting an early start to another incredible unplanned evening out.  We sought out a familiar atmosphere, taking a break from the Spanish way and ducked into a popular neighborhood English bookstore, stuffed with expats from the UK, Ireland, and the States.  We gulped down a few blood maries and made our way to Carmencita, our favorite bar here, owned by a good friend of ours.  Before we knew it, we were putting down fishbowl sized gin drinks and hiccuping our way down the long calles, enjoying the sights and sounds of our city. 

The next day I was apruptly awakened from my dreamless sleep by loud music and shouting people speaking a slew of different native languages.  Right below my friend's window was cranking club music and loud drunken chatter.  In disbelief at the display on the clock reading 8:30 am, I did my best to ignore the maddening noise for the next hour.  At last I pulled myself to the window and shouted tirelessly at the top of my lungs for them to end the music and terribly abnoxious converstation.  It only got worse as the music drowned out my voice.  Until 11 am, the party rocked on and I lay, eyes wide open and glued to the cieling.  Sleep was no longer an option, so I got an early start on our Sunday Funday and by noon we were out the door, gulping fresh squeezed oj and cafe double to ward off our increasingly familiar hangovers. 

The Rastro, one of Europe's largest and most popular outdoor markets, was our main objective for the day.  We sorted through piles of junk and treasures and wandered through the mazes of streets filled with various street vendors, antique shops, and hand made goods.  The sun was shining brilliantly and the overwhelming crowds and merchandise kept our minds off the fact that the coffee was fading and we were essentially the appitamy of death, all heated up.  When the markets packed it up at 3:00 we decided to cure our pounding heads by putting hair on the dog at the famous Sunday spot in Madrid, La Latina.  With not a cloud in the sky, there was no other option for us than perching up at one of the many out door cafe tables and joining the minons for canas and vino for countless hours.  With converstation flowing in unison with the drinks, we barely realized that the sun was setting on our perfect day.  Six hours later we found ourselves reluctantly strolling nearer to the metro for an "early" end to the weekend.  But just as we began to throw in the towel, the lure of excitement from inside a tiny Spanish pub sparked our curiousity and mutual desire for just one more vino tinto and plate of tapas.  After 2 more wines and incredible "enlightening" converstation, the doors of the restaurant closed on us and finally set us on our way. 

Today I pay for it but can't help but still have a hazy smile on my face from the good times every weekend seems to bring.  Sure it's not a sustainable way to live- spending my little bit of money on an uncountable amount of booze and being less than productive with my free days.  But I will never be living in Spain again, free, young, broke, but loving it.  I've decided to stop feeling guilty for my good time and instead embrace the fact that after paying my dues working for the man, I can now enjoy this pocket of time to kick my feet up and turn the hands on the clock back.  Oh Spain...

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