Then, as suggested in Rick's book, we hopped on the #27 bus and did a self-guided tour of the more modern portion of Madrid. It was a shock to my system to see modern architecture! Then, on the Metro home, my bottom was pat squarely and firmly by a middle-aged Spanish woman, which confused me to no end but didn't faze me too much.
So Jackie and I have had an ongoing discussion about all things restaurant-related, and as I mentioned before, I can no longer make fun of Jackie for her pickiness in choosing a meal. After this very long and hot day of walking and navigating the city, I was desperate to eat. I think Jackie was too, but she is less of a drama queen about it. Regardless, we are searching for a place that looks good, and we come across a pretty crowded restaurant with lots of outdoor seating. Jackie urges us to press on, and see if we can find somewhere better, and I start to go along with it, but then decide to be firm and insist we eat there. She politely obliges and we find seats in the less crowded interior of the restaurant. I order a water and what I think will be fresh pasta. How can you go wrong with that, right? Jackie orders gazpacho. In a suspiciously short time, both our meals are served. Mine is incredibly heavy-sauced and oily, but completely tasteless, and hers is equally unappetizing. We munch on stale bread, thinking about the churros con chocolate that we'll eat later. La cuenta (the bill) comes, and we discover that we paid nearly two euros for the stale bread that we didn't order, and two Euros for my 12 ounces of water. I try to argue with the waiter, but he points to the menu, and I am crestfallen. On the way out, I look at Jackie, and she doesn't even have to say "I told you so." She understands that I had to learn the hard way.
Determined to forget our poor dining experience, we bought churros con chocolate and ate them with glee. Then we freshened up in the hotel and parked ourselves in the loud and lively square. People-watching, as always, was as entertaining as any movie. More entertaining, though, was the gaggle of Italian men — all doctors — who crowded around us and quickly began showering us with compliments (the only one I accepted gracefully was the one that I had an authentic accent!). Because both Jackie and I are instinctual "yes-women" when we travel (keeping safety in mind, obviously), we decided there was no harm in sitting down with them. Our strategy served us well, and we found ourselves lost in a raucous quad-lingual conversation. I spoke Spanish, the men spoke Italian, Jackie spoke French, and everyone dropped an English phrase every so often. Jackie asked them about their wives at one point; "No, we don't have wives. Not here we don't have wives." One of the more forward of the bunch kept focusing his attention on me and saying, "Zowie, you are so beautiful. Would you like to go dancing later?" I grew tired of making excuses, and Jackie's compliment-quota for the night was filled, so we thanked them for the wine and dashed away.
About This Entry
You are reading "Palace and Park, Churros and Chocolate", an entry posted on 14 July 2009 by Jackie Steves.