Así nos ven (Periódico Elhecho)
Letter from Madrid
por Julia Terr
The morning starts off with a coffee and maybe a pastry or oily churros. What, no eggs? No
bacon? No omelet? No potatoes? And is this little thing the coffee? Where's my super-sized,
jumbo cup? How will I survive the day? I think I will need three more at least, it's so small. After a sip
of this little coffee I am transported. Ah, mmm, rich, thicker, and darker than its American
cousin it packs a wallop. And this café con leche, which features thick milk, is poured for
me by the waiter, without my having to go to the self-service station for non-fat.
I tip the cup for the last of the foam.The more foam residue left in the cup seems to
be in direct proportion to its excellence. I forget to ask for two more coffees, and I forget
the blue-plate specials in the American diners, and I go about my day.
As the sun moves above my head I start looking at my watch. Noon, 12:30, 1, 1:30, and
no one is eating. Come on, when's lunch? My stomach growls.
It's 2pm before people settle in for a meal. My urge is to grab anything quick, to eat from
a package while walking. I expect to be in and out in a flash. But in Madrid lunch is
The Big One. Soup, salad and a steak or chicken, vegetables and wine are served leisurely.
Wine in the middle of the day, how unusual, but it does go so well with the food that I stop
worrying about my watch. And after relaxing over this large meal with another glorious little
cup of that coffee, I am ready for more of the day. The afternoon zips by with a
new energy from that large meal, and I am happy until, is it 6pm? 7pm? No, it's 9pm
already and time to stop and relax with a beer, wine or water at the bar. The waiter brings
chips and olives. I walk a little and stop again for another. And thus starts the endless
evening rounds of tapas, drinks, conversations and friends. Soon I realize I don't even need my
watch. I could definitely get used to this.