Friday, January 23, 2009

Tilting at windmills

"Can't you see? We're just decadent, decadent! This world we're in can't last, my friend. Our time is over. And you know what? I'm glad. I'm torn between wanting to end it all in a huge bacchanal riot and wanting to grab people in the street and shouting at them to stop it."


- Abigail, the Canadian girl from a couple of night ago. 


Beer, whiskey, whiskey...


Sometime in the middle of the pub crawl, we started a competition to see who was more dissatisfied with Western society. Abigail had just come up from Kenya and had been outraged by the disparity between her affluence and the poverty of the locals. I was, well.... I was just me. I lean towards the melancholy side of things. And so, to the sound of ubiquitous dance-pop-RnB-rock, we whined about colonial legacies, climate change and the delusional, selfish, degenerate depths to which Western society had sunken.


Whiskey, sangria, sangria...


I don't think the irony of two Westerners discussing the immorality of capitalist excess whilst on a pub crawl ever hit us. It didn't hit me, anyway, until the next day. In my defence, though, I was very drunk at the time. 


Beer, mojito, something orange with vodka in it...


It's the nicest thing to have an earnest, drunken, vaguely intellectual conversation. You're drunk enough to think that you're being very profound, but sober enough to be loquacious. Your brain starts buzzing with words that you'd mothballed since high school. And you start to believe that you ARE as brilliant as you suspected during all those reflective moments on the loo. 


Ah yes, sweet, beautiful drunk talk.


****


I'm leaving Madrid in about 45 minutes, and I'm starting to wish I'd pushed back the flight by about a week. There's a lot more to see and do, and I've only scratched the surface. It's a charming city, Madrid. It's brick and plaster instead of stone and marble. It has nice ambulatory streets and human-sized plazas. And it's surprisingly inexpensive. Somehow, it has retain the air of a quaint backwater town, despite being the capital of Spain for 500 years. 


And speaking of regal cities, we went to Toledo yesterday.


It's built on a hilltop and ringed with walls, with the river on one side and the plains on the other. It's full of winding streets that are lined by steep, brick buildings. We spent a lot of time peering through shop windows looking at all the shiny steel weapons. There's something about a stack of swords and shields that brings out the ten-year-old kid in me. Toledo steel was famous in its day, and it's always cool imagining riding around the countryside, tilting at windmills and rescuing damsels in distress. 


30 minutes to go, and I'd better pack up. Got a flight to catch. 

2 comments:

Joke said...

Hi there, joke is here!

Connolly's agent said...

morning joke.