Thursday, May 04, 2006

Two cities

"I don't say we ought to misbehave, but we should look as though we could"
Oscar Wilde
Due to upload problems this post is coming up a little later than it should. So almost two weekends ago I came to London via Madrid. For the first time in my life I managed to estimate correctly the time needed to pack and I even (and I do mean to gloat here) managed to weigh my suitcases at home and take out the less essential stuff until I got down to the 20kg limit.
Got to Madrid on Saturday evening and with Hugo as a guide, me and his friend Joao hit the town. Madrid is one of those true work hard/play hard cities (well, work hard as far as a latin country stretches) and by the time we were begging Hugo to go home at 1.30am the night hadn't started properly. So if you go there try to rest a lot and also adapt to staying up until 6-7am (I am not joking). Because the nightlife is truly worth it! And it is not just the 18-25 age group that does this. As we were dragging our feet home (except Hugo, who has got used to the times by now), we saw some 40-somethings and a lot of 30-somethings ready to hit the town. There are plenty of things to do during the day as well, with the Prado (with Velasquez and Goya), the Thyssen (which at the moment has a beautiful exhibition of Russian modernists, i.e Kadinsky and the like) and the Rainha Sofia (with Guernika, Miro, etc). You just can't do both the nightlife and the daylife in the same days. Other things about Madrid - although in general the food isn't very good (by Portuguese standards) the tapas culture is good and strong and the best option. The women are very attractive and cute (the boys' opinion) - they have wonderful poise and dress very well, each woman being creative without following the most recent trend (my opinion). The men unfortunately don't follow this example and are just average (again my opinion but Portuguese men can't have acquired the tremendous reputation they enjoy in Madrid for nothing). The sun was shining in Madrid when I left for London and I was feeling slightly glum about going to a city where you can't get an espresso after 5 or food after 9, and seems to be enjoying a trend for contrasting-coloured stockings (a look that, even if carefuly thought out, only looks well on about 5% of women). However, the day after I got here went to Urban Outfitters and with Seu Jorge playing in the background my faith in London was restored. Meanwhile, 10 days have passed and have a football match, new housemates and the london job market to talk about but that will have to come some other time.
Back to my phd!


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