Gregorio del Laboratorio goes to Spain: day 3

August 22, 1999

Today’s health report: all Spaniards smoke. It’s disgusting.

Got a nice driving tour of Madrid from Antonio, an Internet pal of Joel’s who maintains a website devoted to 1500-meter races. Among other things, we checked out the bull-fighting stadium, an amazing red-brick structure with multiple levels of little arches all the way around the outside.

Joel and I then left for Seville and began playing the role of the “ugly Americans” in earnest. Between the two of us, we know almost enough Spanish to make ourselves understood, but not quite. Encounters with the natives leave me feeling sort of embarrassed about being here, since our inability to communicate is my fault, not theirs. I simply can’t speak the language of the country.

Given the above-mentioned communication problems, I’m starting to realize just how stressful traveling can be and how it sometimes takes a special effort to remain agreeable and pleasant. On several occasions, I’ve caught myself about to snap at Joel over some trivial matter. Hopefully these negative comments have not leaked out too often.

The Palacio del Fumador (Smoker's Palace).
The Palacio del Fumador (Smoker’s Palace).

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