My first trans-Atlantic flight was non-eventful. THANK GAWWWWD!!
I sat next to a quiet Africaner, in front of some giddy Atlanta mommas and behind a guy from Costa Rica who was entertaining a big girl from New York who was headed to Portugal to meet her sister, do some hiking and hostelling and eventually hook up with her parents in London. Yes, I eaves drop proudly.
I passed the time nodding off and on in between visits from the various flight attendants. I was too delirious to get much serious reading or writing done and set my mind to relax in the interest of hitting the ground running once I made it out of the airport in Madrid. I suppose I was a little giddy at having made it to the last leg of my journey to Spain and at the prospect of being so close to finally bringing the visit to Lindy to actualization, but my stay at the Ramada on Thursday night had allowed me to chill and I really just wanted to endure the flight, jump into whatever fun Lindy had planned for us and wake up after a long nap in a foreign country for the first time in my life.
The luggage came around on the carousel eventually and I followed the signs saying "Salida Way Out" to that place where the weary travellers are greeted by loved ones or drivers holding signs with their names on them. That's the plan, anyway, but when I got there, Lindy had not.
I walked back and forth along the front of the aeropuerta a few times before finding a place on the floor where I reclined with my bags like a drunken hippy happy to be in a place where I could relax.
She eventually showed up reeling from the previous night and morning, and of course, as sweet and apologetic as she could be. What's more important is that she regailed me with the tale of her late arrival which I gladly took in as we navigated our way out of the airport and onto one Metro and then another. There she was having been drunk late into the night, passing out in Plaza de Montera and awakening to find that her bicycle was no longer locked up where she had left it when she went to visit friends. So she came home to crash for a couple hours, but slept through the alarm. Charming girl, that Lindy. She's the only one I'd jump the pond for, to be sure.
We negotiated the Metro and popped up out of the ground at Plaze de Espana to drop my bags at her flat on Calle de Pez. We had an errant lunch and beer with one of her flatmates down at the end of the calle. Lindy was thinking that the place served paella, but it wasn't on the menu or special board so I settled on the tortilla which was delicious, like a potato and egg quiche. It was there that I imbibed my first Spanish lager, the Mahou Cinco Estrella. I'll only say that it is a fitting cerveza to wash down such food. Many of you know of my love of big ales. I was not in Spain or on vacation to dance with the same, though, so I happily accepted the first and then the second bottle...or did I actually receive the second bottle. There seemed to be a bit of a lag between the service of our food and whatever follow up may have occured afterwards.
That night, we retraced her steps down Plaza de Montera and the exact center of Madrid and Spain, an area called Sol. We dined on Indian food and at a Morrocan restaurant with outdoor seating called Restaurante Baisakhi. An eight Euro special included, among other things, mixed ensalata, two entrees (one being Korma de Pollo) and most importantly two glasses of red wine and two shots of some sort of apple schnapps. Soon we ambled about to make it to a couple bars and made it an early night.