On the way back from dropping Alex off at the nursery, I decided to take some pictures with my 3650 to show you all what my morning is like now. Because I get to walk by Plaza Castilla it's actually a bit more interesting than if I was just walking down any other street.
Some things about the photos... All the sidewalks are like that. Yes that's my door key, it's odd isn't it? There's kiosks all over Madrid selling everything from lottery tickets, to magazines (and toys), and the "Porras" place sells hot chocolate, coffee and fresh orange juice. The buildings that slant are called the "Door of Europe" (La Puerta de Europa) and is also a central Metro line and bus station. The big Water tower is for the Canal which provides water for much of Madrid (there's a few others as well) they're doing construction to make the top of the water storage area a park.
The nursery is on a quiet side street, but I have to cross the main artery of Madrid, la Paseo de la Castellana, to get there. If you see the map, I'm where that red dot is, but I actually live off to the left of the map. I was on the wrong side of the street when I took that pic. There's a similar map showing the other half of Madrid on the other side of the street. Madrid is divided like that, especially in this area. Crossing the street to where Alex goes to nursery and it's all much *nicer*... a little more money, bigger houses, etc.
It's June, so things are actually nice and green. They don't "water" here (to conserve it, Spain's a dry country) so all that will turn very yellowish green in the next month or so. It's already 30+ degrees, which is why I turned on the A/C as soon as I got into the house.
That line is out in front of that Government building every day, I'm not sure why. Prisoners are being led out of those big vans in the back every morning as well, handcuffed. Nope, I'm not kidding.
The traffic lights in Spain are REALLY weird. They put the lights on the corner instead of hanging them or putting them on the other side of the street. Consequently, if you're in a car at the corner, you can't see the light, so they have a duplicate set of lights at waist level for those drivers.
For those of you who want to know the prices of mobiles here, I took some snaps of a telephon shop window. Also of a cafe menu for "typical" breakfasts. I happen to live on a side street with a ton of 'nice' restaurants. Not normal restaurants, but nice ones that you dress up for. I took some snaps of the menus. If it was just a little later, many of them also set up tables on the sidewalk now that the weather has turned.
I stopped by a Pharmacy to buy Alex some medicine (the equivalent of Tylenol for his teething) and I took a snap of the sign. Notice the hours. Ugh. That "Sprint" used to be a 7/11. I was surprised it changed. The Spanish don't have clothes dryers. We have a rack inside our apartment for the clothes, and others just hang them outside as well. When an building is under any type of construction or refurbishing, they wrap it with cloth from head to toe. If the building is near a busy street, they actually will cover the building with HUGE advertising as well. There's an enormous Matrix ad like that closer downtown right now, actually.
Every building has the same exact orange-topped trash containers. There's also yellow ones for paper (to be recycled I guess). The trash truck comes by my apartment *twice* every night becuase I live in a little nook that's an intersection of two side streets, so it comes down one, turns around somewhere and then goes up the other, stopping both times to attach those containers two at a time to the back of the truck to empty them.
That's all I can think of right now. Leave me comments if you see something you don't get. I tried to think like when I first got here and take pictures of "normal" stuff that would be interesting to someone back home...