So, I´m in Spain for two weeks. The flights from SF to NYC and then from NYC to Madrid were ... long. But I lucked out and had an empty middle seat each way. Empty or not, I´m just not feeling the 12 hours of flying in one day. I limited myself to about a 90-minute nap in my private (tiny, no-frills) room at the (tiny, no-frills but cheap -- for an euro establishment) hostal (not hostel). I´m hurting right now but I hope it pays off when I wake up tomorrow at, ojalà, a decent hour.
It´s rainy today and my socks and bags when soaked when I found the Hostal Prado, but I´m out and about, momentarily hanging out in a 1€/hour Internet cafe (really a locutorio) just off the Puerta del Sol. In a few minutes I´ll head out past the Tío Pepe sign to the famous Corte Inglés department store to browse. Then some food, some Televisión Española, some sock-drying and, probably, the weekly language exchange (intercambio) at the Irish pub that just happens to be one block from the hostal. I don´t know how good my Spanish will be toward the end of this long-ass day, but I think I´m gonna give it a go. Speaking of which, me voy.