Monday, 10 April 2017

A Trio of Traumas: Spanish Edition (Part One)

There are many other titles I could have given this post: how to be an idiot in Madrid; what not to do in a capital city; tale of a stupid girl; stupidity at its finest; a miracle in Madrid… The list goes on.

But some of you may recall that a while back I posted about a trio of traumas I experienced in Lisbon. Coincidentally, the capital city of Spain also welcomed me with an alternative tres troublesome tests to keep up the tradition (as if my nerves weren’t already recovering from my firework-filled trip to Valencia). So really it would have been simply rude to not acknowledge this apparent trend.

Unrelated picture of some beautiful buildings at the end of Gran Vía
Before I get into full on rant/complain/completely-and-utterly-over-exaggerate mode, I must point out that all in all I’m totally fine and everything turned out just dandy (as it always does), so if you like a happy ending try your best to stick with me on this… 

The first incident of the weekend on my first day in the city involved the tragic loss of my beloved mascara. Nope, I know, it doesn’t sound that bad… but for someone like me who would probably value makeup in their top three possessions, this was disastrous. And let me assure you, the grief caused by disaster dos more than made up for any lack of distress here…

On the second day, came the second incident. Whilst my mind was overly preoccupied about my ability to misplace a mascara in the space of about 30 seconds, so that it seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth and launched itself into a void, transporting it into a parallel universe (*aaaand breathe*), little did I know that an occurrence much more worthy of the “Complete Catastrophe” title was lurking around the corner.

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)
After a lovely wander around the city and its glorious Parque de Retiro in the brilliant sunshine, during which time - much like in the other cities I’ve visited - I spent the majority gasping at the beauty of it all, we headed over to the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). Happy as Larry about that little visit, we then made our way to an irresistible Michael Jackson themed street performance, where crowds gathered to cheer the fantastic look alike and his backup dancers. I too was very impressed with their show. So impressed, in fact, that when it was finished I decided to chase down Michael to put some change in his hat.

*Spot the Michael*

After walking away with a smile on my face and the hum of Smooth Criminal on my lips, I soon realised that I myself had been hit by, struck by a very smooth criminal. And no, Annie, I was not okay… where was my phone??? In my bag? No. Pockets? No. Other bags? Nope! Pockets again?? Still no! It was gone.

We manically paced around and retraced our steps, searching where we had minutes before been bobbing along to Michael et al., but sure enough there was no sign of my phone. Obviously I’d heard countless times about the rates of crime - particularly pickpocketing - in Madrid. This didn’t prevent the wave of bewilderment, astonishment and disappointment that washed over me, drenching any glimmer of hope left in me as I hopelessly checked my belongings again. As I stood helpless in the square, I could picture the thief walking away with yet another phone for their collection, and felt frustrated at my new status as another tally on his (or her) chart. These people are skilled. I am usually so wary of pickpocketers and keeping all of my possessions close and in sight, yet I was still left questioning myself on every level. Did I put my phone back in my bag? Did I put it down? Was my bag open? Was it when I was sitting or standing or walking away? Did they just take it out of my hand and I didn’t notice? I simply didn’t know.

The feeling of loss of a possession is bad enough, but when you know someone has taken something from you it’s so much worse. How dare they!

As you can imagine I spent the next couple of days feeling sad at my loss. I didn’t allow the incident to stop me from having an amazing time and appreciating the city of course, but the feeling was always there niggling away. Luckily I’m not too attached or addicted to my phone. For me, the worst part was not being able to take pictures or videos to capture the memories I was making.

Catedral de la Almudena (Almudena Cathedral) opposite Palacio Real
The third trauma came on the last day at the last moment. At the last opportunity for anything to go wrong, it surely did. I missed my bus home. A sweet combination of mine and Sally’s ditziness and tendency to leave everything to the last minute, we cut it about 15 minutes too fine travelling to the station.

So there we have it. Those were my three little Madrid misfortunes, laid out for you all to see. If you’re wondering how each of them turned out, you’ll just have to wait until the next blog post, when I’ll also tell you about what I actually got up to in the capital. That’ll be next week…

¡Hasta luego!


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