little sarah Big World

Month: November, 2009

…and everybody goes “Awww!”

So they’ve been putting up these lights here, all over town. Putting them up, and putting them up, and putting them up–but not turning them on. Trees, too–different themes and sizes of Christmas trees made only of lights in almost every plaza in Madrid. It’s like we do back home in Temple Square, except that it’s the entire city. And it’s been going on for weeks now.

Then, tonight, they finally turned them on. Mike and I were out for a walk and got caught up in the heart of it, Plaza del Sol. And everyone had come out to see the lights and be a part of the crowd and feel the Christmas spirit turn on.

It was a good time to be in Madrid.


El Corte Inglés

Plaza del Sol

Chocolate y Churros

All the people

Behind the Times

Tonight I used an iPod for the very first time, meaning: I took songs from my computer (which my dad gave me; it used to be his) and put them onto my iPod (which my dad gave me, it used to be his [de hecho, tiene escrito pa’atras Marty Custen]), and then I listened to music while I rode the metro.

It was nice. I felt like a little floating island. I felt connected to the people who’d given me the music (Chad and Will), and I felt comfortably insulated. The ride went by really fast.

I’ll bet this whole iPod thing is going to really catch on.

…and it’s not even noon yet

Did you know that in Spain you have to buy your own fecal sample container from the pharmacy and that it costs sixty cents? That they don’t just give you one at the hospital?

Neither did I.

Incidentally, it’s been a pretty eventful day.

Socialist healthcare…

…but no public restrooms (another journal excerpt).

Monday, November 16th, 2009

(on the bus to Illescas)

We just passed a grafitti tag that said “TinTin.” No joke.

Also, on the Metro this morning, I had to pee. I still do, in fact, because I realized that even though I had 5 extra minutes, I couldn’t use them to go to the bathroom.

Because there is no bathroom.


I think I am falling in love.

…with Spain.

I love walking around the streets of Madrid. I love the people–the little old men with their froggy voices and the little old women with bright red hair.

I love my abono (metro/bus pass). I love riding the metro, except when I don’t (which is often).

I love sleepovers with Laura, with her super pijo sheets and her super pijo barrio. (I love that she’s taken me under her wing).

I love that every visit to my doctor includes a good ten minutes of discussion/lecture on politics, health care, gypsies, dictators, and/or bananas -v- plátanos. I love that he told me that 15 minutes is “not very much time at all” to spend eating a meal (and even that was a lie–I eat in, like, 5 minutes. While watching TV).

I love speaking French with Sebastian and going to the movies. I love the Retiro.

And I love, love, LOVE café con leche. And fresh bread.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

This one was also a going-away present/loan, from Nikki.

“(Later when he thought about it he realized that these very cousins could have gotten him laid if only he’d bothered to hang out with them. But you can’t regret the life you didn’t lead.)”

“Freezing out, she said. She had her gloves in one hand like a crumpled bouquet.”

“The next day he woke up feeling like he’d been unshackled from his fat, like he’d been washed clean of his misery, and for a long time he couldn’t remember why he felt this way, and then he said her name.”

“This is how you treat your mother? she cried. And if I could of I would have broken the entire length of my life across her face, but instead I screamed back, And this is how you treat your daughter?”

“These days I have to ask myself: What made me angrier? That Oscar, the fat loser, quit, or that Oscar, the fat loser, defied me? And I wonder: What hurt him more? That I was never really his friend, or that I pretended to be?”

“Was I really reading my roommate’s journal behind his back? Of course I was.”

“That’s life for you. All the happiness you gather to yourself, it will sweep away like it’s nothing.”