We found super cheap tickets to Madrid and decided to re-visit it. I lived in Seville for about 6 months in 2007 so I’m familiar with its culture and language. Because even though I speak spanish, understanding spaniards is not that easy when you’re latino.
One mistake people make often is to classify every spanish speaking person under “Spanish”, overall. Cubans, dominicans and puerto ricans are latinos (and hispanic), not spanish. So when you see a sign saying “spanish food” or someone saying “he’s spanish” don’t be fooled, it could be anything from rice and beans to paella. The language we speak is the only thing spaniards and latinos have in common. It would be like calling North Americans “English” because they speak english… you know whatamsayin!? Aaaaanyways.. sorry that suddenly I sounded like the latin police here but I needed to get that out of my system since it happens a lot here in NY.
Now back to vacay mode.. I wanted take the opportunity of going to Madrid to watch trends and hair styles and all that funky stuff but I felt nothing majorly interesting was happening (different from what I saw 8 years ago). Maybe they just don’t care that much and focus more on their life in general instead of which color of Adidas Stan Smith’s to buy that no one has (yet). Let’s face it, 9 out of 10 New Yorkers own a pair. One thing I enjoyed more than anything was the quality of the life these spaniards lead and how cheap it is to eat and drink! Or rather I should say drink AND eat, since all you have to get food is buy a ‘Cañita’ (a small sized tap beer) and they give you a “tapa” (or food as we call it over here) with each one. Which by they way costs around a $1-1.50. AND you get bread. Never-ending baskets of bread (take that Olive Garden!). As usual we stayed at this beautiful room in Malasaña via Airbnb.
I love tile design. And old doors (new doors are boring…there just there to cover a hole). And in Spain (but mostly in Morocco) there’s enough of these to drain your camera battery in no time. Not to mention the beautiful colonial architecture. I was paying a lot of attention to details and colors more than anything else.
The outdoors, the coffee, the slow, laid back pace, the coffee….did I mention the coffee?. If you live in NY, you take coffee pretty fucking seriously and let me tell you, spanish people never even had fucks to give about. It’s just, culturally, insanely good coffee by default because they have no idea how to make bad, watered down coffee. Except one coffee shop which was called ‘La Bicicleta’ and all it’s decor was bicycle themed and it was filled with stuck up bitchy late-twenty somethings that took forever to take your order. It was like we never left New York. That said, after politely declining the ‘Americano’, the coffee was delicious.
Speaking of, I cannot afford eating tapas here in NY since the price of two tapas is roughly the whole check at any local bar in Spain. It’s ridiculous! Right now (go!) is a good time to visit if you find a cheap flight since the dollar is around 0.94 euro.
We rented a car and drove all the way to the south. We stopped in Córdoba to see the Mosque and in Granada to see La Alhambra. Then we went to Tarifa (the windiest place I’ve ever been to) and took a Ferry to Morocco. Then we went back to Spain, grabbed our car and drove North all through the coast of Portugal from Faro to Lisbon and then back to Madrid. I’m only sharing Madrid and Cordoba in this post because la Alhambra is another world.
All I have to say is that I’m grateful to be back home and for my next trip I’m staying still in one place or one country. Not 3 countries in 15 days! Maybe with more time but I think we were a bit ambitious. Another thing I learned (for like the third time) is to travel with less shit because you always end up buying stuff and at the end of the trip you end up bringing more stress in those shoulders than when you left. Vacations are supposed to relax you, not to stress you! This trip gave me some great inspiration for the new collection I’m working on.. will they work? I don’t know yet. This has been all trial and error. I’ll share some more stories later on.