Monday, August 13, 2007


The Shakes All Over Me...

There was an earthquake in Spain yesterday morning, only a small one, 5.1 on the Richter scale, but it shook me awake. The epicentre was south of Madrid and damage seems to have been minimal. However, I'm not used to earthquakes and found the whole thing rather unreal... I was still groggy from the night before, which didn't help me to understand what was going on. For a moment I thought I was being aggressively roused from sleep by an invisible man!

Good things and bad things have happened to me recently. I'm on an emotional rollercoaster but that's nothing unusual for me, I guess.
So I'll mention only the good things...

Madrid is a party city in party mood. The street parties are getting hotter and more vibrant. On Saturday night I wandered the streets of La Latina. There were many performers: a particularly skilful juggler delighted the crowd with an impressive display. Every street corner had a sound system. At 3am the centre of the city was packed with people.

There was live music too: I watched a very disorganised but very enjoyable band in a street so narrow there was almost no room for the audience! In the middle of the set, two African guys joined the band and launched into a very funky pulsating song and suddenly the crowd was dancing and me with them. Throughout most of my life I have been too self conscious to enjoy myself in public in the way I would like, but something in the music that night loosened my restraint and I felt much better for it. One of the things I like about Spain is the way that people are less judgmental than in Britain. Here, if you want to demonstrate your exuberance, nobody cares if you look slightly ridiculous. I feel freer here and want to dance more. The fiestas culminate on Wednesday night with the biggest party of all. I can't wait!

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