justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Part 4: Madrid

When I lived in New York City I never got into the rivalry with Boston. I liked all of Boston’s sports teams and I think Boston is a wonderful place to visit.

I’ve lived in a Barcelona for only six months and I know very little about the Barcelona-Madrid rivalry and the cities’ general history.  

That being said, I really hate Madrid and visiting the capital only confirmed my beliefs.

Here are four people I met in Madrid (who weren't even Madrileños, but nevermind thatwho I disliked:

1. Somewhere on the internet Sarah found out we could get free tours of Lope De lo Vega’s house. Neither Sarah nor I were familiar with De lo Vega's work, but she likes literature, I like writers, and we both like free.

Upon walking out of the house and instantly forgetting the unmemorable tour, we struck up a conversation with an older gentleman who was on the tour with us. He was from Marin. He was traveling Spain by himself. He was the pleasant kind of old guy who didn’t just infinitely ramble on.

The only thing I didn’t like about him was that he reminded me of a future lonely version of myself. The same Justin Adler I’ll be around 2050, when Sarah has left me and I’m retracing my steps on Spanish solo excursion in an effort to figure out where I went wrong.

After chatting with the man for 10 minutes we went our separate ways and quickly there after, we realized we should’ve invited him to dinner with us. We really liked talking to him and we thought he’d appreciate our company.

So we pulled the move Costanza once called impossible, and went back. We found him two blocks from where we left him and asked what his dinner plans were.

He surprised us both and politely declined our dinner invitation. Most likely because seeing his former self when he still had Sarah would have been too much for him.

2. AC Bilbao fans are terrible human beings. That has nothing to with how I feel about their team, of which I couldn’t name one player. But it has everything to do with the loud, lunatic fans taking over our hostel and keeping me up all night.

Granted I was suspect of our hostel from the very moment I walked in and saw the poster of Tony Montana replacing George Washington on a dollar bill with the line “I trust me.” Normally I try to avoid any location that features said poster, but when we pre-booked the room, HostelWorld neglected to mention their atrocious choice of décor.

We checked out the day of the Copa del Rey before “my” FC Barca smoked AC Bilbao 3-0. As we walked out the Bilbao fans were drinking at 9am and a group was standing around the Scarface poster, admiring it, taking camera phone pictures of it. And that is why AC Bilbao fans are terrible human beings.

3. One uber religious hostel guest spent his entire trip in the basement Skyping every member of his family. No matter what I hour I went in the basement, he was there, spewing lines like, “Dad, physically I’m just OK because my stomach hurts, but spiritually I’ve never been better.”

He also told recounted the time he told a drunk Moroccan beggar that he had the answer all his problems. That answer of course involved denouncing Mohammad and accepting Jesus Christ as his only lord and savior.

4. Yet the chatty proselytizer wasn’t the weirdest guest in the hostel. That title goes to the guy using a wired racecar-shaped mouse with his laptop.

So this post didn’t say anything about the city itself ?

The Prado: Ehhh at best. By that I mean there was a lot of wide-open spaces within the museum and the whole time I couldn't stop thinking about what kind of cleaning solution they used to wash the floors. It has to be something that's safe enough as to not release chemical vapors that would damage the works. But what if they hadn't thought of this? What if I brought this to their attention and got them to change their cleaning solution? I could single-handedly save hundreds of priceless pieces of art. Then they'd have to let me rename the museum whatever I wanted, right? Then I could name it something completely immature and nonsensical, like, "Chicken Nugget Penis" just to spite this shitty museum that I never liked in the first place. 

But the fact that I spent my whole time thinking about their floor-cleaning solution and not the art is why I give The Prado an "Ehhh at best."

Buen Retiro Park: Probably my 248th favorite park, if I had to rank parks I've visited.

The Royal Palace: OK this was really impressive.

The Egyptian Temple thingy: The Met’s is a lot better.

Chocolatería San Ginés: Give me Barcelona’s Granja Viader all day.

That Breaking Bad paper doll thing I saw: That was really, really cool.