Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Night in the Plaza Mayor

Huddled in my airshaft-view hotel room until nine o’clock, just to seem a native (?!) when I went next door for a pizza. Fine pizza, relatively speaking, even if I had to watch a Eurosport TV broadcast of an American bowling championship (?!) while eating it. But the real fun began when I walked outside about ten. On a not very warm late October night, the local pre-teens were in full throat in the Plaza Mayor. Soccer games, cartwheel practice, giggling girls taking evasive action to avoid preteen boys who really didn’t want to catch them. Not a parent in sight – they were all, if anywhere nearby, in the tapas bar at stage right of the plaza. Granted it wasn’t a school night, but this was most un-American (at least un-Big-City-American) and thoroughly engaging. I have to get around to my research project (i.e., five minutes on Google) to see if the stress-free Spanish lifestyle offsets the extraordinarily high rate of chain-smoking in the life expectancy derby.