Ilivetolearn's Blog

April 18, 2006

spring break

Filed under: on the road,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 9:04 pm

Here it is, Semana Santa (Holy Week), which we consider our anniversary of sorts since the six of us first came to Madrid last year right before Easter to visit the schools and generally check out the city. This time around we are much more attuned to the predominant Spanish way to celebrate the season…not by dyeing eggs (they are all brown anyway and probably wouldn’t take much color), or eating huge quantities of chocolate, or even going to church…but by pulling up stakes and going elsewhere—anywhere. Our next-door neighbors are in Morocco. Our landlord is in the Philippines. Most of the ASM populace has left the country.

And locally, everybody is on the road. The highway authority, in an effort to save lives, broadcasts cheery messages like “105 muertos semana santa año pasado” (105 people died last Holy Week) and “la velocidad puede matar” (speed kills) and “no podemos conducir por ti” (we can’t drive for you, which I can only guess is a reminder to pay attention). The day we left the city headed south, the daily free newspaper, 20 Minutos, had a headline reading “The worst day to go on vacation.”

But actually our party of 8 (all Carmeans but Elliot, who had only a long weekend off, and 3 friends from Pennington) made it to Granada by a combination of Multipla and bus (the only 2 trains being long sold out) in very good time with no traffic. It turns out that people begin their trips on various days, but the vast majority drives home on Easter Monday…so our next guests got stuck in a monster jam on the 17th.

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