Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chad's last night in Madrid

[Exactly one week ago today was Chad's last night in Madrid.  Here's what we did that afternoon and evening.]

While I was at work, Chad spent the morning of his last day taking a tour of the Bernabéu Stadium and visiting the Puerta de Europa towers (where he witnessed a Bankia protest).

When he came back I had just returned from my Tues/Weds school and started making lunch.  Chad caught me on camera in the process.

The plan for the afternoon was first to go see The Hunger Games, then buy something for Chad's dad for Father's Day, and finally to meet up with some of my friends at 100 Montaditos for beer and montaditos (little sandwiches).

Why did we go see a movie if you can do that in the states?  Two years ago Chad gave me the first Hunger Games book for Christmas (yeah, I read them back before it was cool).  I devoured it, then got the other two books in the trilogy from the library.  Later he borrowed the first book from me and read it.  We were both excited for the movie to come out this spring, but he was so busy with school and steel bridge that he never saw it in Madison.  And the night that some of my frisbee friends went to see it here in Madrid, I had had a private lesson to teach.

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Since we both still hadn't seen it, we added the item to our Madrid to-do list but hadn't added it to the itinerary on any specific day.  During his first week here, Chad and I looked up movie times at a theater in Madrid that plays movies in their original format (aka in English without dubbing!)  The website said that the movie played at 4.10 every afternoon.  We'd be gone in Alicante over the weekend, and then had Monday and Tuesday afternoon plans already.  That left Wednesday, his last day.

On Wednesdays I normally have class until 4.30, so we didn't think it would work.  Then over the weekend while we were in Alicante, my Wednesday afternoon teacher emailed and said I didn't have to come in that week (since it was the last class before their exam and only a few students would be there to review, plus she knew I had a visitor in town).  Perfect!

So after eating we headed downtown to Cine Ideal in Sol (after stopping at a chino for some snacks to carry in) to buy tickets.  We got there a little before 3.30 - early - but I had wanted to get there early and have the tickets in hand, then walk around if there was extra time to kill.

We walked in and I quickly scanned the movie times up on the screen.  Los juegos del hambre.......15.30.  Hunger Games at 3.30?!  I checked my phone for the time.  It was 15.24.  I started walking towards the ticket window to quickly buy them, but then I saw a sign that said you must pay in cash.  I, of course, had planned to use my debit card.

I turned around and ran out of the theater, telling Chad we had to find an ATM (caja) asap.  I ran down the street, not seeing any banks in sight, then peeked around the corner. BBVA - yes.  I took out cash.  Ran back to the theater.  Quickly bought tickets, skipped going to the bathroom, and we sat down in the theater.  The previews had started.  All of the previews were in Spanish which was fine for me, but then I started worrying I might have screwed up and the movie would be in Spanish for some reason.  After all, I was in a huge rush when I bought the tickets.

Then my mind started wandering... what would we do if it was in Spanish.  Leave and not watch any of it?  Try to get a refund?  Is there any way she would give me a refund? Doubtful.  I had seen a movie in this theater two years ago with an intercambio group.  The movie had been in English with Spanish subtitles, but I couldn't remember what language the previews were in.  Now I was really nervous.

And then the movie started.

It begins with text (in English), and Spanish subtitles.  More text.

Finally somebody speaks.  It's in English.  Phew.  I let out a sigh of relief and sit back in my seat. I take our snacks out of my purse, relax and enjoy.

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The movie was good, but the book is much better.  Has anyone seen the movie who hasn't read the book?  What did you think?

After the movie we walked around in search of a Father's Day gift for Chad's dad.  We looked and looked and looked.  We went to lots of souvenir shops and some regular Spanish clothing shops too, but he couldn't find anything that worked out.

As our meeting time for 100 Montaditos approached, we gave up the search and walked to the Spanish chain tapas bar that Chad had first visited in Alicante.  We went on Wednesday because Wednesdays are euromania -- everything is a euro: all of the montaditos, and even jarras of beer!  Jarras at 100 Montaditos are normally 2 euros, and the little sandwiches (montaditos) range from 1 - 2 euros.

When Chad and I got back to my barrio (neighborhood) we stopped at a local bar (that I've always wanted to go to, but have never had friends out at my side of town because it's far from the center) for one last caña.  He did some final packing back at my apartment, and we went to bed pretty late (I went to bed at 2:30am), then he woke up at 4 and I woke up at 4:40am to meet the taxi that I had called to come at 5am.

I was a half-asleep zombie when I sent Chad off to the airport in his taxi.  He later told me the flight home went fine; no delays or missing luggage like on the way here.  It was sure a fun-filled two weeks; we did lots!

[Coming next: Interview with Chad: An American's First Impressions of Spain]

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