Flashback: On my way to the Dayton International Airport, all packed and ready (I thought) for Spain, I remembered,
“Oh no!, I left my iPad charging at home!”.
I immediately called my daughter who sent to me the next day. (FYI: USPS was way less expensive than UPS.) After 2 weeks, I learned that it was being held at the Spanish Customs office –and could be there indefinitely. “What? Why?” And then–my cell phone wouldn’t work !
Ellioto even tried to get his Spanish colleagues to intervene–but they got the same results–none!
It seems that Spain is trying to halt the influx items being bought elsewhere (Amazon, eBay, etc) and brought into the country without going through Customs. “Did I have a receipt stating date of purchase?” The iPad was 3 years old–and used and rebuilt–no, of course, I didn’t.
I felt pretty cut-off from the states. Without my computer, I was on-the-loose with my camera using up all that eager energy to explore a new country. I found myself living more in the moment rather than writing about it.
For two weeks, Madrid has been under a high-temperature, weather-advisory (104`). I now have a real appreciationfor their afternoon siesta`.
Learning the train routes allowed me to seek refuge in Madrid’s fascinating museums in the blistering daytime heat, located within 2 blocks or so from the Atocha train station. And Retiro Park is within walking distance as well–a welcome solace with its sprawling gardens, botanical treasures and colors in gay profusion.
Language can be tricky, In downtown Madrid–or near the Atocha Train Station, people tend to know some English–but in the suburbs, where we were staying, not so much. I’ve done pretty well with gestures and my language app– until the other night, when I thought that I was ordering a vegetarian sandwich.
Instead, I was served chicken-on- white-toast, with a single tomato slice and a scant piece of iceberg lettuce, slathered in mayo. When I tried to explain the problem, the waiter picked up the top slice, removed the chicken and slapped the bread back on. “Ahi`(there)!”
People- watching opened my mind and softened my heart to not only the differences between us–
–but also to the similarities that unite us.