Let’s start from the very beginning, but I’ll be brief. As you all know, I made a sudden and happy exit from Toronto last week after getting a job offer, purchasing my ticket and heading to Spain in a matter of 48 hours. So, this is what I did.
I signed my employment papers on Thursday afternoon, and went straight to the airport to catch a Continental (my plug, since they did give me a US$350 travel voucher last Jan. which I used for this trip) flight to Newark and on to Madrid. Almost didn’t make the connection and was running through Terminal C like an Olympic sprinter.
Arrived in Spain at noon and took the Metro to C.’s place. Earlier this Summer, A. and I went to see Manu Chao in concert. I thought of her on the Metro, as the announcer relayed each “Proxima Estacion.” And then he said it. “Proxima Estacion, Esperanza.” I grinned from ear to ear, raising the eyebrows of some dour Madrilenos.
Calle Olivar is where C. lives with 5 other people from Mexico, Spain, Cameroun, the U.S. and France in a huge apartment that was formerly an orphanage in the barrio of Lavapies (literally, wash the feet), a medieval part of Madrid that’s now full of immigrants from every country. Imagine my surprise when I met Bangladeshi’s speaking fluent Spanish.
Later that night, we took the overnight bus to Barcelona. I was SO tired — almost 72 hours without sleep.