Outside BCN

Revisiting Madrid

Madrid ayearinbarcelona

(EN below)

Min lange kærlighedsaffære med Spanien startede, da jeg som 19-årig drog af sted på den dengang typiske dannelsesrejse for unge kvinder, der lige havde afsluttet gymnasiet, nemlig et år som au pair for en ung familie i Madrid. Fra en lille plet i Jylland drog jeg – uden at kunne et ord spansk – af sted til en ukendt millionby, og det var uden mobiltelefoner og internet. Vi taler 1990 her.

Madrid 1990-1992

Men af sted kom jeg til to af de bedste år i mit liv! Jeg blev taget utrolig godt imod af min spanske familie, elskede byen med dens energi, smukke arkitektur, kultur og fodbold (jeg var en lettere fantastisk Real Madrid-fan i mine unge år). Og så var Madrids natteliv af en anden verden. Det var fest og farver hele natten – morgendiskoteker, techno, dansende modeller på piedestaler, og mænd der tungekyssede – ikke lige, hvad jeg var vant til fra de lokale diskoteker og gymnasiefester på Djursland!

Jeg elskede det! I løbet af et halv år var jeg rimelig flydende i spansk og var godt integreret i det spanske. Jeg havde fundet ud af at kindkysse, kunne svare telefonen så min au pair-mors far var usikker på, hvem han havde i røret. Jeg spiste “callos”, kaldte folk for “gilipollas” og festede indtil 8-9 stykker om morgenen sammen med mine andre au pair-veninder og min spanske kæreste. Jeg lærte at gå i hæle, med læbestift og guldøreringe, hvilket bestemt ikke var normalt i Danmark dengang først i 90´erne.

Madrid var dengang stadigvæk en meget spansk by, turister var der ikke mange af, men input fra udlandet var begyndt at strømme ind, og byen var åben og modtagelig. Byen var vel – som resten af Spanien – i gang med en større proces fra diktaturet mod noget mere moderne og internationalt.

Real love do not die

Jeg rejste hjem i 92, fik et omvendt kulturchok, og var i mange år splittet mellem Danmark og Spanien. En splittelse jeg prøvede at glemme i 30´erne, men det var forgæves. Rigtig kærlighed dør ikke, så nu er jeg her igen. Denne gang bosat i Barcelona, som har taget min opmærksomhed de senere år, også fra Madrid. Men glemt er hovedstanden ikke, og den ville jeg naturligvis vende tilbage til under min orlov.

Og det gjorde jeg så sidste weekend, et kort visit og et dejligt gensyn. Lidt som at se en ex-kæreste, som man elskede højt for første gang i rigtig mange år. Noget var velkendt og som det plejer, og noget andet var nyt og forunderligt. Velkendt, men samtidigt også helt nyt. Byen var smuk i efterårsfarver og solskin. Monumental, opgraderet og denne gang propfyldt med turister. Fede butikker, lækre restauranter, barer og caféer. Det føles lidt, som om byen havde fået en opgradering af den federe slags, der ikke kun efterlader en flottere facade, men også giver karakter og stemning. Den fede energi var der stadigvæk, omgivelserne var bare blevet lidt mere lækre, end jeg husker det. Jeg blev faktisk lidt smålun på min gamle ex-kæreste igen.

Hjem til Barcelona

Søndag aften, på valgdagen, var det så hjem igen til et Barcelona, som havde fået prygl af Madrid-regeringen hele dagen, som beskrevet her, lidt surrealistisk. Mange stiller Madrid og Barcelona op imod hinanden, måske også på grund af det indbyrdes forhold. Men jeg knuselsker dem begge to! Det er forskellige byer, som har hvert deres at byde på. Madrid er min gamle kærlighed, som aldrig dør. Barcelona er min nye, som jeg aldrig vil forlade. Hvor er jeg heldig, at jeg kan have dem begge to, på hver deres måde.

P.S: Jeg fik slet, slet, slet ikke set alt det, jeg gerne ville. Der var alt for kort tid. Og slet ikke nok til at komme med en udførlig guide til alle de fede kvarterer, seværdigheder, butikker, restauranter, barer m.m., men jeg skal nok komme med et par “usual suspects” i et par efterfølgende posts. Jeg regner også stærkt med at komme tilbage, snart.

EN

My long love affair with Spain started when, as a 19-year-old girl, I went abroad to work as an au pair for a young family in Madrid. Back then, it was a very typical way of travelling after finishing high school . From a very small place in Jutland, without knowing a word of Spanish, I travelled to an unknown city without mobile phones or the internet. We are talking 1990.

Madrid 1990-1992

But, away I went, to have some of the best years in my life! I was welcomed warmly by my Spanish family, loved the city with its energy, beautiful architecture, culture and football (I was a quite the Real Madrid fan back then). And Madrid’s nightlife was of another world. It was fiesta and color all night long – morning clubs, techno, dancing models on pedestals, and men who were kissing – not the slightest what I used to from the local discos and high school parties in Djursland!

I loved it! Within half a year I was almost fluent in Spanish and well integrated in Spanish culture. I knew how to kiss on the cheek , I could answer the phone so my au pair mother’s father couldn´t tell the difference between me and her. I ate “callos”, called people for “gilipollas” and partied to 8-9 o´clock in the morning with my girlfriends and my Spanish boyfriend. I learned to walk in high heels, and to wear lipstick and golden earrings, which certainly wasn´t normal in Denmark at the time.

Madrid was a very Spanish city at that time, there were not many tourists, but input from abroad had begun to emerge and the city was open and receptive. The city was, I guess, like the rest of Spain embarking on a the process from dictatorship towards something more modern and international.

Real love do not die

I returned home in 92, got a reverse culture shock, and was for many years torn between Denmark and Spain. A divide, I tried to forget it in my 30’s, but in vain. Real love does not die, so I’m here again. This time living in Barcelona, ​​which has received my attention in recent years. But the capital hasn¨t been forgotten, and naturally I would like to return for a visit during my leave.

And so I did last weekend, a short visit and a nice revisit. A bit like seeing an ex-boyfriend again, whom you loved very much a long time ago. Something was well known and as usual, and something else was completely new and amazing. Old, but at the same time also brand new. The city was beautiful in autumn colors and sunshine. Monumental, upgraded and this time packed with tourists. Nice shops, delicious restaurants, bars and cafes. It feels a bit like the the city had been upgraded, but in a way that not only leaves a more beautiful facade, but also gives character and atmosphere. The lovely energy was still there, the surroundings were just a little more delicious than I remembered. I actually got a little crush on my old ex boyfriend again.

Home to Barcelona

On Sunday evening, election day, I returned back again to a Barcelona, that had received a severely beating from the Madrid government, it was as described here, a little surreal. Many compare Madrid and Barcelona to each other, perhaps because of the internal relationship between the two cities. But I love them both to death! They are different cities with each their offer. Madrid is my old love that never dies. Barcelona is my new love that I will never leave. How lucky am I to have both of them in my life!

P.S: I didn´t get to see all that I wanted by far. There simple wasn´t enough time. And not enough to come up with a detailed guide to all the cool neighborhoods, sights, shops, restaurants, bars, etc., but I’ll probably come up with a few “usual suspects” in some following posts. However, I also expect to return soon.

Madrid ayearinbarcelona

1 comment on “Revisiting Madrid

  1. Pingback: Madrid – Parque del Retiro – A year in Barcelona

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