Saturday, 11 December 2010

Reindeer Everywhere!

The overnight train from Lisbon to Madrid was lovely. The jerky dancing on the rails, the on-off process with endless stops and the firm little bed made the trip seamless. And what I loved most were the rubbery canned mushrooms, pink tubes impersonating sausages and yellowy jelly with the smell of eggs. The black liquid wasn't bad either. I'd do it again.

But Madrid in December I'm not so sure. The city is marvellous, but there was only one word in my head: Queues! The bank-holiday did not help I suppose, the almost cannibalistic tourists around the museums were less than funny, the always frenetic shopping safari of the season a further hindrance and the once-a-year opening of the parliament to the public was verging on the ridiculous. But the thing that really baffled me was an old lady, Doña Manolita. The Christmas national lottery comes under that name I believe and the queueing for one of her magic tickets were the surprise of the year for me.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the city is dressed for the festive season, a bit over the top maybe, and half the population wears silly Reindeer caps. I bought two!