reflections on Spain, heading to Homeland tomorrow

(Had no Internet so, I’ve been absent, I wrote this at the Madrid airport and posted it from Budapest) I’ve been visiting some friends (one old, others new) in western Spain. I arrived to warm (relatively speaking) weather and a warm reception. There are some possibilities for my work here. But there are things to weigh and more conversations to have. Basically, we would lend our expertise in ESL to an existing team.

I found the city of Caceres to be welcoming and an excellent place to visit. From those I was visiting it is a great place to work too. The main plaza and the old city need another visit however, there wasn’t quite time to take it all in. Next time.

I didn’t to see any of Madrid as I came in on the train because of the smog. It hung over the city like a curtain.

Getting to the train from the airport in Madrid is not too hard, but you have to know what you are doing. The metro system is modern and appears thorough but is not well signed. Since I am not afraid to ask for directions, I was able to get there and back with a minimum of hassle. There is a subway that goes right from the heart of the city and rail line (N. Minesteros, I think) that takes you straight to the airport. But, of course, I figured that out after the fact. I’ll know next time. Coming to the airport from the subway, be sure you know which terminal to go to, unlike London’s Picadilly line there are no signs in the metro to guide you to the correct terminal. It seems that most international flights go out of 4 which is a pretty awesome airport, except for one thing: elevators. There are no escalators. They move people with elevators, and not enough of them. So be prepared.

A final note on the folks I saw and the folks I met. They are a pleasant lot. The folks I saw were smiling and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Oh, and all the stuff you’ve heard about their hours is true. It’s interesting, the sun rises about an hour and 15 minutes later (it seems)than Hungary (the eastern edge of the time zone). And when I sat on my friend’s balcony for my morning reading and writing, about 8, there was almost no one out. And yes, we stayed up much later (as per their norm) than I am used to. But it all seems to work. The siesta and coffee (which is nothing to write home about… stick with the espresso) which followed the siesta was that which enabled me to stay up with the crowd. I am fairly certain that I will be back, but probably NOT in the summer, they say its hangs around 40-42 degrees in the summer.

Next leg: Homeward bound Tuesday through Paris (yes, I’ll be packing a change of clothing in my carry on in case Air France can’t get me home on time).

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