Friday, March 31, 1989

If They Put Me in the Zoo ...

Viv woke early for class, but I couldn't be bothered, so I slept until 11.30 a.m., at which time I got up, read the paper and waited for Viv to return. When she did, I got ready and we went out to get a sandwich at good ol' Don Jamon's, across the Calle.

After lunch we caught the Metro to Batan, where we proceeded to walk to the Madrid Zoo. It cost about 800 pesetas each to get in, but with our International Student ID cards, we got 20% off. It was a nice zoo and I really enjoyed it.

Even though it wasn't the best zoo I've ever visited, I think it's the on I enjoyed visiting the most. We saw, among the many animals, elephants, tigers, lions, kangaroos, strange and colorful birds, monkeys, hippos, rhinos and eagles. Of course, photos were taken of the flamingos (my favorite bird), as well as the Giant Pandas, the playful red pandas, large pelican-like birds that Viv was able to stand right next to, and the highlight of the day: the baboons.

They were very playful and eager to put on a show for the tourists in the hopes of scoring a treat. One baboon would do back flips, while the other jumped up and down to get our attention, and when a peanut was thrown, he would usually catch it.

Following that, we were able to catch the first part of the dolphin show, but after taking two pictures we had to leave, because it was getting close to the time where we had to meet with the agent to sign the contract for the new flat. We were to meet at 4.20, and it was 10 past already. We arrived at Gran Via at 4.50 and what do you know, we were the first to arrive.

After we got everyone assembled (and I bought another copy of the International Herald Tribune), the five flatmates (Viv, Liz, Kurt, Angie and Raquel) sat and mitigated the circumstances while I sat off to the side and read my paper next to Mark, Raquel's boyfriend from back in Germany, who just arrived for a visit today (ah, the plot thickens).

Raquel (right, photo courtesy of Vivienne King) was being quite annoying, and left early with Mark for her own personal benefit, and the contract was not signed. However, money exchanged hands and things moved otherwise smoothly. Viv was extremely upset with how Raquel behaved there.

Afterwards, we went to McDonald's for some grub followed by another tour of the flat. This time, it had been cleaned and was actually quite appealling. Although the graffiti was still prominently displayed down the hallway, I offered to help paint over it if they wished. The consensus, however, was that the graffiti was pretty cool and should stay (and be added to as well). That's fine with me.

Viv picked out the room she wanted in the flat, but feared that Raquel would want it, and since she usually gets her way, she would end up getting it. I told Viv she should stand firm if she really wants it and not back down. She has no more or less claim to it than you, and you didn't ditch the group at the contract signing.

Everything was in pleasant order, so we left, and those four went to the Chueca Metro Station while I returned to my room at the Villa Garcia. I read the paper a bit more, then went for a walk to find out the showtimes for "Rain Man." Viv didn't get back until 10.15, though, so we didn't get to go see the movie tonight.

Pictured is Viv at a fountain in Madrid. This photo is not from the zoo. As you can see, there are no photos from the zoo here (you can click on the zoo link above to see the animals).

Editor's Note: OK, so here's what happened. Back in Barcelona, when I finished the roll of film, I rewound it, took it out and replaced it with a new roll. Unfortunately, the new roll did not catch on the camera, so I proceeded to think I was taking photos, when in fact, I was not. It was only when I thought I was finished with the roll that I rewound it and discovered the mistake. Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed at this discovery. And this is why there are no photos actually taken from the second half of my trip to Madrid. Ah, if only digital photography had been invented about 10 years earlier...

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