Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Bad news is, Madrid is losing its gilt to me pretty fast. Over the past couple of days, when my friends in Brazil asked me if I was enjoyin the city, I replied, ‘sometimes’. It pierces my heart across when I do that, because I really wanted to say, ‘dude, it’s fabulous, and you gotta come visit me’. But how can I invite my Casa das Rosas gang to visit a place where ppl do nothing but drinking and smoking in a boring bar without even music playing?

I know I’m probably comparing Madrid to São Paulo, my personal Paradise Lost, and I’m very aware that this is unfair, if that’s the case. But really, I cannot help the feeling of loss and regret when, unless it’s a huge once-a-year international event like Europride or the city’s annual festival like San Isidro, there is absolutely NOTHING to do here in Madrid other than getting drunk.

Last Sunday, I went to a street market Beefeater (the Gin brand) organized here in Las Vistillas. Christened ‘Londonize’, it was supposed to feature vendors who participate in London’s street markets, and the typical stuff that’s sold there. I arrived at six p.m., it was closed already; and I could’ve coped up with that, but on the way to there I saw what seemed to be the whole of Madrilean youth sitting on the floor of the surrounding squares, with beer cans in hand, laughing like mad, and with faces clearly blushed. Alcohol is not the problem. It’s that other than beer, there was nothing else for them to do in this country’s capital city.

Summer’s here. I’m very aware that in the northern hemisphere this is the season for parties, and except for Europride, which very fortunately this year is in Madrid, all other interesting things to do (all away from town) are in the same fucking weekend. My lifetime dream, the Celtic music Festival de Ortigueira, as well as the San Fermín bull run in Pamplona, and the European version of Burning Man, Nowhere Festival, are all in the first weekend in July. Tell me, am I paranoid, or are people organizing these events just to make me feel horrible even when I pick one of them to attend??

Hardly. In São Paulo, actually I faced many tough choices every weekend. All year long, I mean, and I was perfectly fine with that, because I knew the following weekend I’d have many great stuff to do again. Ok, I admit, when I decided to leave Sampa behind, I really should have, but every honest human being gifted with a dash of compassion will understand comparisons are natural and irresistible at some point.

I’m currently concentrating on the fact that Europride (June 30th) is my chance to begin enjoying Madrid. I know it won’t be São Paulo, which is the world’s largest Pride parade, but maybe people WALKING downtown for a change (drunk or sober doesn’t matter) will make me feel a bit more proud of my new home.

Wish me luck.