This week I watched the Eurocup match between Spain and Russia. I am not one for sports of any fashion, but I do appreciate watching futbol matches, especially in places where the entire country gets up in arms about it. I still think the public's ownership of sports francises is a bunch of nonsense, but it's fun to see everyone pour out into the streets with their red and yellow jerseys on and watching the game for a second time that day at the local bar.
That night I ventured out to he local neighborhood bar and had two beers. This is the sort of place you would imagine in Spain. Far away from any tourist destination, the neighborhood I am living in a bustling working class assortment of high rise apartment buildings with a common space in the center, and ours happens to be graced with a bar on the coner. I watched the owner expertly slice off pieces of jamon and cheese and plate them to his friends / customers. I have not been back since that night, but I will remedy this soon.
The day after was another excursion day, this time to the archaeological dig site of the Roman ruins of Segobriga, and the walled cliffside city of Cuenca that still harbors local residents to this day. While both of these sites (please click on the city names to view google images) were fatastic to visit, and it was a full twelve hour day that left me exhausted, what I found most interesting about this day was that in order to get out of Madrid, we had to pass through a blockade of cement trucks on strike and protesting high petrol prices by parking on the freeways. This strike has been going on all week, and what I find fascinating is that truckers of all goods have come together, the grocery stores have no fresh vegetables, goods are not getting in or out of Madrid, and the freeways are a mess, yet the population supports this action, for now. It's fantastic to see a population that shakes off apathy. I can only imagine the grumbling that results from the gas prices back home, but these people have acted as a community at a local level that has affected all of Spain. I am simplifying this process and the cause and effect nature of the argument purposefully. I am not commenting on the politics or the actions taken, I am commenting on the willingness to simply act.
This weekend I will be alone in Madrid as my housemates are traveling to Rome, or Barcelona. Luckily one of the Mississippi folks left his laptop and sanctioned my use of it. Tonight I will return to the area I spent last night drinking. This area seems to be where the local 20 somethings hang out. I passed by a death metal bar last night, perhaps I'll pop my head in there.