Santa Catarina Whaaaaat?

Lisbon Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 45 › view all entries

Although after finding our way around the public transport system again and then finding our hostel it actually wasn’t too bad, it was probably about 7am when we got to the hostel outside of central Madrid. When we got there, of course we couldn’t check into our room until 2pm, but the guy let us throw our bags in storage and crash on the couch for the morning (very cool of him!) I slept there for hours, we were in the common room so I don’t know how many people came through while I was sleeping, but at that point I would have slept through anything. Woke up and watched some tennis (woohoo.. The Australian Open was on) and waited for our room to be ready. Ummm… Nothing too exciting to tell for that day, it was the night time that was eventful…

Tried to get an early night (not that early, 11pm or so…) and crawled into our way-overcrowded 12 or 14 person dorm, can’t remember which, and fell asleep. Only to be woken up at about midnight by a bunch of very inconsiderate bastards who thought that it was ok to come in and turn on the lights and talk really loudly. They made heaps of noise, and I subtly made it quite clear that people were trying to sleep. As if that made any difference, they looked over, saw me trying to sleep, and kept on going. They sat up for ages, I was so mad, I had the worst nights sleep ever because they decided to sit up half the night. It was so bad that despite the fact that it was a good hostel, I decided that we had to move to a different one, there’s just far too many people in there to deal with. We did stay one more night there, but moved to a 4 person dorm so we could actually get some sleep the next night.

So, after 2 nights we moved to the MAD hostel which is more central, makes it easier to get around to the sights and stuff. That place was really cool, has a bar and all that stuff, and smaller dorms. Still, no matter which hostel you go to, you always have thoughtless people who ruin things for others. Like the first night when we were cooking a guy comes into the kitchen crying about his hand that he scratched or something, then he starts rummaging through everyone else’s food in the fridge, and shamelessly eating it. I was starting to get a little grumpy with the selfishness that some people display, and in Madrid it only got worse… Our first night at the new hostel, I was sound asleep, it was the middle of the night, 2 or 3am, and one of the guys in our dorm comes in and turns on the light and rummages around for a while. When I opened my eyes all I saw was this stranger standing right in front of me staring at me (I was on a top bunk, so he was literally right in front of me!) it was creepy. He completely did not care that he had woken me up in the middle of the night unnecessarily. There was also one other guy in our room who had come in really late and done the same thing, made a heap of noise and turned the light on.

That was just about all I could take…

Soon as I woke up in the morning I jumped out of bed, turned on the light, opened the curtains and made so much noise that there was no way anyone could sleep through it, not even after a big night. It didn’t recover the sleep that I had lost, but it did make me feel a little better. Now, do you think that he was going to be smart enough to just end it there? No! From then on, every time he walked in the room and the lights were off, no matter what time it was, he would turn on the lights and then leave them on when he walked out. So, being that we were clearly living in different time zones (I was always up early and he was always coming in late…) it was war. I don’t know what part of the light was inspired him to hang him bright blue leopard print underwear on the end of his bed, but I think that it was part of his tactic. I guess. Anyway, moving on… We stayed 5 nights at that hostel, and this went on for days. Until one evening when I was in the room in the dark, trying to find something in the dark and wishing I had turned on the lights, and he came in and turned them on. He realised straight away that he had actually helped me by turning them on, and was absolutely kicking himself. Then, when I found whatever it was I was looking for, I jumped into bed and the next morning same routine, so now I was one up on him. Then the same day, he locked himself out of the dorm when he went to shower, and was stuck in the hall with nothing but a towel. After 5 minutes of trying to bang loud enough for me to hear him over the music that I was listening to, I let him in (now I’m 2 up on him). Needless to say that night he didn’t turn the lights on. Then, when I was leaving I gave him all of our groceries that we couldn’t pack for the flight (now I’m 3 up, I win!!!) At this point we hadn’t actually spoken a word to each other the entire time, and he was trying to ask me something and he realised that I don’t speak any Spanish, and in turn I realised he doesn’t speak any English. Anyway, it was actually a very involved war that obviously doesn’t really translate well onto paper.

So yeah, 5 nights in Madrid, believe it or not we actually did more than just fight over turning the lights on, we saw some sights too!!!

Madrid really seemed to be a world away from Barcelona, the people and the atmosphere were nothing like I was expecting. Gone were the piercings and crazy hair and outfits, it was a much more conservative place. So, we did much more conservative things. First stop was a chaotic search for the elusive Post Office which ended in us stalking a guy through the city streets because he was carrying an envelope with no stamp, which to me meant that he was going to the Post Office (hey, it actually worked, he led us straight there without even knowing that he was being followed by us thinking that we were commando’s!) Went to see the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, which had some fabulous art, but really all I was interested in was Picasso, particularly “Guernica” which I had read a lot about there.

We spent an afternoon in a beautiful park in the middle of the city, and saw an ancient Egyptian Temple that had been gifted to Madrid and moved there stone by stone in the 70’s. Other than that, we spent a long time just wandering around the city streets gazing at amazing buildings and Churches.

A week passes by pretty quickly, and on our last night we went out for drinks with one of the girls we had initially met in France. Of all the places to go, we were sitting in an Irish Pub in Spain watching American Football after we ducked out for some Chinese food… It’s enough to make you wonder what country you are in after taking all of that in…

Next morning was up early, getting packed and ready to go, and finding our way to the airport…

Guess where we’re headed?



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photo by: Johnpro