Sunday, July 15, 2012

Madrid, Day 2: Viva la Revolucion

As anyone who's been watching the economic woes of Europe knows, things have been rough for Spain lately.  They're on the brink of defaulting and causing (along with Greece and others) the downfall of the Euro.  So in the past few weeks people have been asking me whether I felt any trepidation about going to Spain.  Absolutely not, I said, if Spain descends into chaos, I will simply rise up as a leader of the revolution until the Jacobins cut off my head.

But then we got here and the weather was nice and people were friendly and calm, taking naps on the lawn in the park in the afternoon.  Bastille Day came and went without a peep from anyone other than the Irish Pub that tried to exploit it as yet one more reason to drink.

But then tonight, at around 10:30pm on the way home from dinner on the Plaza Mayor, we noticed people marching down the middle of Paseo de Alcala.  At first it was just a trickle . . .

then a flood, complete with helmeted policemen running to stay ahead of the quickest marchers . . .

and then, finally, a merry throng of people walking their dogs, chatting on their cell phones, enjoying the balmy evening.  Oh, and protesting  reductions in government salaries.

It was hardly a revolution.  I mean, where were the waving flags?  The bared breasts?  The gentlemen in top hats with rifles?

Revolution done right
I had my new fedora, which could have stood in for a top hat, and Amanda could have helped in the breast department.  Even the police had obligingly set up some barricades for our young heroes to fall upon.

But no -- the outraged masses just weren't that outraged.  They just strolled along with nary a shout nor  crazed thirteen-year-old with pistols. 


So after a while we, too, wandered off into the night.  Back to the hotel to blog and pack for the flight to Morocco.  My time as a revolutionary will have to wait.

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