Monday, January 19, 2009

From Barcelona to Madrid

From St Kilda to Kings Cross is thirteen hours on a bus
I pressed my face against the glass 
And watched the white lines rushing past
And all around me felt like all inside me
And my body left me and my soul went running

I always seem to get into Madrid early in the morning. 

Took the overnight bus from Barcelona to Madrid last night. As always, it's a disconcerting experience. Once the luggage is stowed away and you've settled in your seat, the driver turns the lights off and everyone falls asleep. There's something about the humming of a bus that's very conducive to sleep. The bus stops every two or three hours to refuel and give the driver a break. When he turns the light on, everyone wakes up and shuffles out into the way-station. 

It's a strange experience. You're in the middle of nowhere, and the only light is coming from the way-station. There's a road that stretches off into nowhere, and nothing else. Every way-station seems to be built from the same design, and if it's a particularly long trip, you get this suspicion that the bus has just driven around in circles for two hours and come back to the same spot. 

When you get off the bus, you're a bit disorientated. It's not lack of sleep, because you've had enough. It's not a DVT-induced mini-stroke, because you've had plenty of opportunity to stretch in the pit stops. It's more a case of temporal dissonance, I suppose. You know you've been driven 700kms overnight, but it really doesn't feel that way. In your head, a part of you still thinks you're in Barcelona. 

I miss Barcelona. There's so much there that I want to see again. If I could redo this trip, I would've spent two weeks in Barcelona and two weeks in Granada, and what would it matter if I'd missed out on Florence or Venice or Prague? There's nothing there but photos and postcards. 

But still, it doesn't matter. At least I got back to Madrid in time to see Real Madrid play Osasuna. Beautiful stadium, beautiful team, dodgy referees. Probably the only stadium I've seen that has elevators and escalators for the fans. Definitely the only stadium I've seen that's installed heaters on the roof to keep the fans warm. 

3-1 to Madrid. 


Anonymous said...

WEG. Tell us about your johnson then.

Connolly's agent said...

Mr Johnson was one of the professors in 2nd year. He had a large gap between his two front teeth and was very cynical. I liked him and thought he was one of the better lecturers at uni - that's not saying much, though. I took the piss out of one of his exam questions one time, and he was so amused that he read it out in class.