The streets of Madrid are quiet. Traffic was non-existant at noon. The cab ride from the hotel was rather American. As I sat in the cramped cab, I could easily recognize the band that was singing. No it was not Juanes, Iglesias, or even Shakira, it was Smashmouth. I had to ask (in Spanish), are you a fan? My cab driver, Luis said he likes them and a lot of other American singers. He explained to me that we were his second passengers in over 3 hours. I saw about 40 cabs waiting for 3 groups of people. While I´m used to the scene at JFK when one waits over 40 minutes to an hour for a cab, in Madrid today, it was the other way around. Our short ride was filled with conversations on the sights, music and eventually the economy. The unemployment is well over 20%, but the people that are working are not making enough. He can afford to go to the plaza to have wine and tapas only once a week. That is a big part of enjoying life for him. I do not believe he was exaggerating or trying to get a bigger tip. I could definitely tell the sincerity in his voice and body language. I look forward to exploring and meeting more people and learning about their opinions on life, current situation, government´s role, and their outlook.
Madrid Arrival- Day 1
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