I am in Madrid and the only sightseeing I seem to be doing is of the gastronomic and retail kind. Am here to visit my Venezuelan friend Carmen, who recently relocated to Madrid from Caracas. Her family is not very different from Indians in their sense of hospitality and since I arrived here with my kids, three days ago, we have had the pleasure to dine at some of the best restaurants in Madrid.
On my first day here the first thing I wanted to do was to take my kids to the Museum del Prado that houses works of artists like Goya, Raphael, Diego Velazquez and Reubens to name a few. In hindsight, taking the kids along was not such a good idea as walking through a museum with a 4-year-old (of considerable height) on your hip isn’t the best way to admire art.
Carmen collects art and has a bewildering collection from all over the globe including a few personally commissioned works of Andy Warhol. She lives a lane away from the museum and insisted on giving me a personally conducted tour at Pradp. I cannot handle large museums and get overwhelmed by the works of so many great masters on display under one roof. Which is why it was fantastic to be shown around by someone who was so focused on saving my time by taking me right away to what most needed to be seen. The ‘Las Meninas’ by Velazquez and ‘The Naked Maja’ by Goya were among the several ‘must-see’ works of art that Carmen took me to within minutes of entering Prado. I did feel bad for the other artists whose works my eyes were not allowed to linger over, as I followed Carmen-on-a-mission around Prado. My heart goes out to these dead masters as they must turn in their graves each time some tourist like me by-passes their works and heads straight to the paintings of other more famous artists than themselves. Oh well, what was I to do? Life is not fair anyway.
The next two days was spent dining and walking in and out of stores with seven wonderful Venezuelan women, all of whom seemed to be hell bent on helping the Spanish economy by making charitable purchases for themselves at Bottega Veneta, Missoni, and Jimmy Choo.
In midst of all this I managed to pop by at Carmen’s house to throw brief albeit loving glances in the direction of my children, lest they should feel left out of all the bonhomie.
My kids don’t get fooled easy however and they managed to extract their pound of flesh by making me take them to the amusement park the next day in the insufferable heat of Madrid. It was so hot that I felt my body parts vaporizing along with my patience. To my relief, my kids were too scared to try most of the rides thereby reminding me yet again that there indeed was a God above. A loving, patient and compassionate God, who understands pigmentation and the other damaging effects harsh sunlight and heat can have on skin and hair.
The husband will disapprove of this ‘wuss’ like behaviour of our kids but I am not so much into building character. In any case I do not feel get scared out of your wits on a roller coaster builds character. I am sure there are other things in Madrid that can help build their character. Maybe I should leave this blogging for another time and find out what those ‘things’ are.
Until then, adios. Hasta luego.