It’s Friday and I’m in Madrid, sitting in a small Spanish restaurant drinking wine and waiting for my vegetable paella. This is my reward after weeks of packing boxes and going through mounds of photographs; after staying up all night at Ben Gurion airport and trying to catch a little sleep in the cramped Iberia plane. A day to myself – nine whole hours in Madrid.
I like to explore cities. I have friends I know who prefer the countryside; prefer to lose themselves in nature, but I, like my father before me, enjoy nothing more than losing myself in the streets of a bustling metropolis. I love New York. I adore London (the next stop on this trip). And Madrid, so far, reminds me of London, but without London’s relentless crowds. It seems doable, civilized. Through the windows of the cafe I see a policeman directing the traffic and pedestrians, and everyone pays attention.
I have at least four hours until I need to make my way back to the airport. I could go to the Prado and admire the grand art, but I probably won’t. Instead I’ll wander the streets watching the people carrying on with their daily lives. This is my reward . . . today I get to do whatever I want.