Friday, July 21, 2006

the return

Leon Cathedral, night.

I have returned. It was great being back in Spain after five years. When I arrived, it was as if I hadn't left, but somehow overnight they had changed the currency and set up Turkish restaurants all over Madrid. Good work was done in the archives and good eating in the bars and restaurants. Once I had the chance to walk through Madrid, I saw some real changes, for better and for worse. There was more of an effort to restrict traffic in the center, which was good. There was a greater variety of people, making a city which always cosmopolitan even more so. At the same time, life was faster and more stressful. My friends who still live in Madrid want to go someplace smaller. There are Starbucks everywhere, which a city with so many great cafes does not need. Things were more expensive, but still relatively cheap for someone who lives in Manhattan.

Right now I have jet lag compounded by New York mugginess, so I'll leave the details until later. I also am suffering the effects of the last week of my stay, which involved staying up late with friends at night and getting up early to go to the archives. There is never much sleeping done in Spain in the summer. Still, a great trip. Now I think it's time for a siesta -- a New York siesta.


Fayrouz said...

Welcome back Liam.

Big cities change very fast. The other day, I was talking to my friend in Sydney. She told me when I visit them back, I wouldn't recognize my old suburb.

I lived in big cities most of my life, I now prefer smaller cities where you get to know the people around you. Not to mention life is less stressful in a small city.

crystal said...

It's good to have you back. Thanks for the postcard! :-)

Jeff said...

Welcome back, Liam. Glad the trip was productive, and it's good to see you posting again. You've been missed.

"Madrid me mata." :-)

Deloney said...

While you were away I converted everyone to Rastafarianism. Wanna toke?

Liam said...

Thanks, everyone, it's good to be back -- though I don't know how much I'll be posting. It's time for work, work, work.

Which means, Deloney, that I might have to take a rain check on that.

Paula said...

Welcome Liam I missed you.Good to know that your trip was fine.:-).