Tuesday, January 25, 2011

i caused an accident & just kept walking

So me and the G go out for our afternoon walk today and head towards Parque Castilla... But before I continue, I think I need to explain something about being a pedestrian in good old Madrid. Our neighbourhood is full of what seems to be quite common in this city: cross walks at intersections that have no light, nor even a stop sign (one of the streets will have a yield sign, the other nada).

Of course drivers are supposed to give priority to us poor hoofers, else we could be waiting a long time. They will, in a pinch, stop for you. That is IF you're brave enough to play their own particular brand of "chicken". That is, they will continue coming through the intersection even if you've already stepped off the sidewalk, and they will do this at a speed that makes you wonder whether they intend to stop or not. Of course they are hoping you will chicken out and stay at the curb, but if you continue crossing, they will (usually) stop. Once I figured this out, I bow to no one, as I am a bit of an anticar-ite (for Seinfeld fans) and generally stubborn.

Anyway, back to my story. A few blocks away from our house, G and I stepped off the curb at a corner where some dumbass was actually parked (still in her car though) over most of the cross walk. Which I guess may excuse the driver who was approaching, as 'perhaps' she didn't see that I was stepping off the side walk (though of course maybe she did, it likely wouldn't have changed her behaviour).

I gave her a dirty look as she proceeded toward us and she did stop with her front wheels over the edge of the cross walk, which is quite normal as I said. Then, just as I stepped out of her way and she could've proceeded, another car came and rear-ended her at a decent clip; enough to make a bunch of noise but not propel her car forward much, I don't think.

I say I don't think because frankly, I didn't even think of turning back and sticking around. Though as I walked away, I did wonder if I should be a witness or whatnot but there were plenty of other people around and many of them seemed quite interested so I decided to just keep going.

I guess I was in kind of a bad mood (I've had a nasty headache for days) but also I'm just SO sick of people. I think my hermit-hood is starting to affect me. More than once when we're out recently, I find myself telling Alain, "L'enfer, c'est les autres". And sort of meaning it...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

demon vanquished

A belated Happy New Year folks. Nine days in already and I finally sipped a glass of champagne today to welcome it. It was a only a small, cheap, complimentary glass after a late lunch in an Indian restaurant but it also wrapped up a weekend during which I ventured out of the house several times (shopping yesterday, museum & lunch today) without feeling like I might frighten children.

In other words, my conjunctivitis is just about all cleared up, finally. Don't think I had ever had pink-eye before but this case was way past any shade of rose, I tell you. Last weekend by this hour, the nasty bug had my whites entirely blood-red, I kid you not.

It had started New Year's eve, on what I thought was the tail of a little flu that had started on Dec. 27th, as our Christmas hosting was just about to wrap up (our guests began leaving on the morning of the 28th). By the 31st I had felt fine enough to spend the afternoon cooking for our one guest for the evening, Celia.

But by the time she went to bed at 11 p.m. (she's 89, a longtime friend of A's family who lives on the other side of Madrid and A visits her every weekend) it was clear I shouldn't be drinking champagne as the damn conjunctivitis that began in the late afternoon was progressing really fast and knocking me out.

Long story short, I didn't get treated that weekend since, short of going to the emergency room, everything was closed. But it was b-a-d by Monday morning so off I went to the clinic and got me some kryptonite drops. But by then my body's defences had been on overtime making lots of that fun goopy stuff and the congestion and  coughing had started and here I still am, congested and still hacking. Should be good as new in a few days and hopefully won't catch a cold or flu for another couple of years, as that's how long it'd been I think.

Anyway, that's my excuse for not posting before now and not having anything much else to say since I've mostly spent "this year" lying on the couch. Signs of life this weekend included boxing up the Christmas decorations, and baking some very yummy oatmeal cookies yesterday (or at least A tells me they are, I can still barely taste).

We also really enjoyed the Rubens exhibition we saw today (which did not include the piece I stuck in at top right, unfortunately!), particularly a series he did in collab with Bruegels. Afterwards we didn't stick around to do other parts of the huge Museo del Prado (we were hungry), but the visit made us resolve to get there more often, particularly during the get-in-free Sunday evening time slot. Next weekend we're going to hit Goya's Black Paintings, which we did peek at on our way out, and I can't wait, that is some eerie stuff!

Okay, yawn, I'm even boring myself now. Time for dinner, which tonight is a gift Celia gave Alain when he visted her today: two tortillas espaƱola (one has spinach, the other caramelized onion). Hope I can taste 'em, cuz while A's are good, hers are the BEST.