Thursday, May 25, 2017


I slept all night until seven thirty and had some fine dreams of being a teacher and  helping other people in the dream.
I would give them something I had, and if they loved it, I would sell it to them for very little money, just enough to know they actually wanted whatever the piece was. One was something to wear on a shirt, almost like a bib, but not a bib.

I went down to Taberna Tirso de Molina

for breakfast. Here is the only place I have eaten fried egg here in Spain. They do a fine job.
This morning I had it with chorizo. I checked the website and showed the waitress the picture which included potatoes. They did not have the potatoes, but I could easily do eggs and chorizo which is fine because I don't want the potato anyway.
What off diet eating I do will focus on the bread, crispy and wonderful.
I ordered green olives, but they forgot to bring them. This was fine too because I reminded them when I ordered cognac.

Sobrano was the brand. I like it. I like Venterano too.

These have been my favorites here and they all came as the cognac of the bar. Nothing special. Perhaps the Soberano was not the fancy bottle pictured, but a cheaper version.
I sat this time at the back of the restaurant looking toward the door, and that was a great choice.
The ambiance is "cozy" as they say in the comments on line, but it feels upscale. The tile pictures are wonderful although not very Spanish.

I stopped by a table selling Republican (Spanish not American) and Communist shirts and almost bought one. The woman said they are just there today, but I'd like to see what happens tomorrow on May 1. So I passed. They had some big sizes available. Even 3 X. Ten euros is reasonable, but still not cheap.
A man came up and finally I had the conversation I had been expecting my entire trip.
"Where was I from?" he asked.
Nuevo York.”
He remarked in Spanish that I must be a Yankee. And I said yes, although in truth I don't follow baseball.
And then he talked about Trump. 
It was bound to come.
He called him a Fascist which may be a bit of a stretch, but I guess not too much. Still, he does not have an army to take over the country, like Franco had. 
I told him
"Perdona mi para mi Presidente. Y pardona me pais. El is un tonto."
And he said something else.
Then I said, "Otra dia, otra Presidente. Me gusta Bernie Sanders. Conoce Bernie Sanders?”
Although he shook his head, he clearly did not.
Remember also that with the shirts touting the Spanish Republic and Socialist Party was one praising Lenin with his picture on the front. Viewed from political viewpoints Lenin and Trump are at opposite ends of the left right spectrum, but both are not to be celebrated in my opinion, and of the two Lenin is more ruthless.
However, I could not take the conversation there because my Spanish is not sophisticated enough.
One strange emotional thing happening to me just now is that I get emotional flashbacks in which I feel, with no concrete context, the emotions I had as a twenty something fellow enjoying the streets and flavor of Madid. I can feel emotions which I have not felt in forty years. It is very pleasant.
I think the trip has put me in better shape physically and mentally. The same mind that could not my first day remember Tirson de Molina, the important plaza in my trip for orientation... that mind seems to pick up words and remember them. 
Some I knew once. 
Others are a bit new.

Of course, a good bit of my mind until now was filled with anxiety, both the kind that came from being 70 and anticipating this trip, and those that come from planning the detail of the trip once here.
Now, I have finished much of the trip and all of the parts that had attached anxiety because I wanted to fit in well with my old pal Frank and manage his relatives, etc.

My lack of good memory affected his view of me because I could not remember the details of his book to apply then to Hervas as I toured. I hope I will do better in restrospect as I reread.
Everytime I pick up a book I have read and completely forgotten, I am sad and frustrated.
We old ones laugh and comment that having forgotten the story of a mystery, we can now experience it new and not know who the villain will be. But that is just a bit of disingenuous consolation.
We would like to remember all of what we experienced, in detail, with full recovery.
Perhaps before I die a chip implant can stimulate those places where such things are stored in my memory. I will try it if it comes. The human brain is rather imperfect in spite of how much we believe it is not.

And that is perhaps the most delightful part of this journey, the idea that my mind is awake and that I can cope with even this rather grueling agenda.
I had planned something much less tiring. I would go to Isabelle Hotel in Segovia and just stay in that place with no day trips, not even one to Madrid, except for perhaps Avila and La Granja which might be accessible in an hour by bus.
I may still do that.
But I am very excited to have done this much grander trip, a more challenging adventure and will be forever grateful to Frank for making it possible.
And I could do this kind of trip again on my own with little anxiety.
While I am writing in my hostal room, I am eating the left over cheese from Hervas and drinking the natural raw wine that cousin Paco in Hervas gave to me. I follow it up with the agua mineral con gas that I bought in Hervas.
How strange to think of me in Madrid eating a meal from Hervas. But this is the last of it.
In my wanderings through Madrid, I found the old shop where my mother bought me a guitar for my birthday so many decades ago.


These poster advertisements were scattered around Madrid and also some of the other towns we visited.  I liked the look of them.

Down Calle Mayor I found a little shop I liked and picked up a fan and a shawl for Elizabeth. 

Here are some shots of Madrid at night, most of Puerta del Sol

Here is sweeper in stone who I passed every day on my way to Puerta del Sol.  He is in Plaza de Jacinto Benavente

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