July 14, 2006
We have been in the cocoon of family and haven't spent much time with Madridleños yet, but from the people we have encountered the topics of the moment seem to be:
1. Zidane's headbutt - The popular sentiment so far seems to be squarely with Zidane. As one man put it today, "If you talk too much about my mother, I go crazy."
2. Crime - Everyone we've met has a firsthand story about petty crime. "Totally out of control" was the phrase used most often. I have been warned not to bring "la machina" (my camera) into Madrid proper. "You will be robbed for sure. 100%," I've been told. People have a hard time believing New York is safe even at 3am. My statement "I carry my camera everywhere. Openly. On the subway. At night," is met with disbelief, almost as if my fellow New Yorkers are rubes for not robbing me.
3. Tabloid figures, especially Spanish royalty and demi-royalty - Note it is not cool to question the Prince´s wisdom in naming his daughter Leonor. Note when someone talks about the Spanishness of the Queen, you should not blurt out, ¨but she´s Greek.¨ Also it is considered nothing short of absurd that you have never heard of Letizia Ortiz. To brief yourself on these very important matters please visit the Spanish Royal Family´s very own website.
Aside: Is there anything more sublime than Clifford Brown´s trumpet on Dinah Washington´s version of Summertime while sitting out in the dark watching fireflies in the trees and lightning flash in the sky over the Spanish hills?