Welcome to my travel blog.
I am traveling with a girl friend, but I will be writing in singular person as this is about my day, my feelings and my interpretations. Yes, selfish.
So, after flying for a good 21 hours and being in transit for over 24, I finally made it to the capital of Spain, Madrid!
Got off the plane, first port of call was sim card. Bought one. My phone was carrier locked, so I was referred to a ‘loccutorio’ by the con man who was selling me this sim card.
First port of call, then turned into, kill myself.
Disheartened, I grabbed my bags from the carousel and made my way to the taxi rank, where it was quickly discovered that NOBODY speaks english. With all intentions of catching a cab back to the hotel, it was just a matter of finding someone who would get me there for under E60.
Found a guy, he turned out to be very helpful. Told us in extremely fractured English about the bull fight that was happening that night as well as where to go to get my phone unlocked. The “grand via” which I assumed was a shopping centre…
I got to the hotel, planning to go to this “loccutorio” and get my phone fixed, ended up by the pool. It was 33 degree heat. This pasty bitch doesn’t deal with 33 degree harsh sun, no matter how much banana boat I have slipped, slopped and slapped.
So, yeah, narh, I slept for the rest of the day. Only to wake up horrified I’d forgotten my toothbrush.
Since I’d slept for early, I woke up at about 4am Madrid time. Which actually has turned out to be quite helpful in regard to organising all my stuff which I have just shoved where ever I have room.
Plan for the day was then: a. find loccutorio and b. buy toothbrush.
Firstly, went for breakfast, it was nice enough. Hotel style european continental breakfast. The most entertaining part of breakfast was bumping into a contiki woman who will be on the same tour.
Her name is Robyn, from Brisbane and is a highschool art teacher. Quite a funny lady.
After breakfast, I then roamed the streets in pursuit of a “Metro” station, wherever they are. Walked…. and walked…. and walked. Finally asked a woman for help, who just happened to speak almost flawless English. yaay!
Found the station, now to find a loccutorio and a toothbrush.
Got a ticket. Got the train. Got off at the right station. My day was looking so up, phone place right at the exit of the station.
"Grand Via" turned out to be the biggest damn street I’ve ever walked on. Little nooks and crannies everywhere. Shops poke holed into alcoves and alleys. Very interesting, though.
Phone shop outside of the station didn’t do unlocking. Got referred elsewhere. Rinse. Repeat. 6 shops later, finally found a woman who would unlock it for E60 and good god I couldn’t give her my money quickly enough.
She called and did her business and got the details of my carrier and whatever other sorts of requirements go into liberating my phone, but it wont be unlocked for another 18 or so hours. Shit.
After that, did some walking around the city, found some cool little shops and quirky antique stores; because that’s what I need, antiques.
Now to find a Farmacia so that, when I get back to the hotel, I can scrub my dientes.
Found pharmacy, how do you say “toothbrush” in spanish? Yeah, I had no idea. BETTER MIME IT WHILE SOME HOW MAKING IT NOT LOOK LIKE I WANT TO BUY A BAG OF DICKS.
Yeah, unsuccessful, the pharmacist probably thought that the lack of a toothbrush was the least of my issues.
However, all in all missions of the day were a success. My phone is on its way to being unlocked and I can now brush my teeth. So, for a bit of a breather, I sat down in this beautiful side cafe and had a glass of lemon flavoured Fanta. Watched the people pass by with their European leisure and their little European dogs, completely nonchalant that the street smells like stale piss and tobacco. Probably because most of them were having a cigarette while their dogs pissed on every object in their path.
Wandered back to the Metro, bought myself a ticket, got the right train. Life was sweet.
Standing on the train on the way home, a guy pulled out a guitar, plays some spanish song to the carriage. As he gets off the train, he stops and taps me on the shoulder, and says something in Spanish. Mate, I don’t speak spanish. He then translated to “you have beautiful eyes”.
Got back to the hotel. Relaxed. Brushed my teeth. Got changed and got rid of the city off of me.
16:00 rolled around, time to meet the other contiki people. 50 will be on the bus. 1 New Zealander girl, 3 South African
babes boys, 3 Americans and 43 Australians.
Signed up, for all their activity things, gave emergency contact info and heard about what’s scheduled for the next 13 days.
So, today has been a success, I’d say.