Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 124. From Madrid to Frankfurt

Early at breakfast I had the joy of seeing Maria Eugenia and Juan, who have changed very little in 12 years. I met Juan in Germany 20 years ago, and since then we have remained friends, exchanging kids (Faby was in Spain 12 years ago, and Juan Armando and his girlfriend Eliza came to stay with me in California a couple of years ago) and sporadic e-mails. Still, like it happens with old friends, it was but the matter of a second to fall into easy conversation.

At 9 am we went down to take a taxi, but I made a quick dash to the rental car to pick up I don’t remember what. Rats, I had forgotten the key up at the apartment. Since the taxi was there I put it out of my mind, and went with them to the clinic. Juan is one of three doctors in a clinic of vascular medicine, where they worry about blood circulation and varicose veins. Modern practice includes laser treatments and Doppler tomography, and Maria Eugenia is in charge of that part of the clinic. After seeing everything I took my leave just about the time when the first patient came in, and went to visit the Parque del Oeste, with its beautiful rose garden, and the Egyptian temple of Debod. Spain was one of the nations that participated in the rescue of the temple of Abu Simbel in the late 1960’s, when the Assuan Dam was constructed; in thanks, the Egyptian government presented Spain with the small temple of Debod. Kind of cool!

I walked farther to the Plaza de Espaňa, and in the way took yet another photo of my favorite Madrid monument, the memorial to Cervantes with the eternal statues of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza. OK, it was time to get back home, so I jumped on the metro, and by 12:00 I was back in the apartment, in perfect time to drive to the airport and catch my 3 pm flight to Frankfurt.

And then I ran into problems. I couldn’t find the key of the car anywhere! I emptied all my pockets, unpacked by bags, roamed through the house, and . . . nada. Oh my God, after days and days or travel it had finally happened and I had lost the key to the car :( I panicked and called the rental company, but they were of little help, sending me from one phone number to the other. Hmmm, my mother says that when you loose something you should say the first half of 13 “Our Father”, and that after you find whatever you are looking for you say the second half. To me it sounds like bribing the good Lord, or downright heresy, but the principle is that after some reflection you look at the problem under a new light. So I reflected, and concluded that I should have dropped them sometime in my afternoon walk of the previous day. I started going over my steps of the previous day, looking around hopelessly, and then it struck me: I had kept the key in the backpocket of my pants, together with my wallet, so I must have dropped the key when I pulled my wallet out to pay for the beer. I made a beeline to the tapas bar, asked the waitress with baited breath, and was indeed rewarded with a big smile and my precious key,

The rest of the trip to Frankfurt was uneventful, though I cut it quite close in time, and by 7 pm Chrissy, Gustav and I were comfortably seated in a local Italian restaurant, watching the Euro 2008 match.

1 comment:

erin said...

my sister went to spain for two weeks this summer for a high school trip, ahe has a very simliar picture of the statue of Don Quixote! what an amazing place!