bestkungfu weblog

Greetings from the road

Filed in: personal, travel, Sun, Oct 7 2007 05:08 PT

From: Madrid, Spain

Wow. What a week. It’s been good enough that I’m actually blogging again. (Hey, remember when Matt used to blog?)

I spoke at Fundamentos Web 2007 in Gijón on Wednesday. The topic was designing new technology to build on the accessibility we already have, rather than stripping it away. The audience was fantastic, and the people who put the show on deserve recognition as the best conference organizers I’ve ever worked with. All of that more than made up for the fact that I was speaking some 20 hours after arriving in town, after 25 hours of travel, and that my MacBook Pro crashed while I was plugging in, and wasn’t in a usable state for another 20 minutes, and that I had to follow Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Veen. You know. No pressure.

I’m in Madrid today, and I’m officially on vacation. It’s a great feeling to be in a city that makes time for napping, especially since the bar-restaurant-club progression usually starts around 8 or later in the evening, and doesn’t finish until 3 or 4 in the morning, if you’re lucky. And I can never sleep in past 8:30, so the siesta is very worthwhile.

Last night, my former coworker Charles took us out to the neighborhood bar. After the bartender poured us our cañas (small beers, always served with tapas), I offered one of my hosts some cash, and Chaals, an Australian who knows his way around this part of town, told me: “They won’t take your money here.” When I inquired further, I was informed that until he was finally able to order drinks like a local, they refused to let him pay.

At all.

For two years.

Later in the evening, after the sit-down dinner, we played darts in a Communist Party headquarters. The place was covered in pictures of Che. It was a pretty trippy evening. 🙂 I’m leaving in a bit to try to see a Real Madrid match. (Getafe, where I’m staying, and Atlético are both playing away matches.) I was going to try to make it to Bilbao to see the Guggenheim, but I don’t think the travel gods are with me this time around. I’ve only been gone a week, and already I’ve had a full trip. Just wait until I get to Cairo.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress (RSS 2.0, Atom)