No rain for 2 days in a row was too much to hope for
Monday, March 19, Madrid
On Sunday there was no rain. Apparently, the rain was saved for Monday because it rained and it rained and it rained. We needed umbrellas to go the few steps from the apartment to the Brown Bear café. It rained all morning and well into the afternoon.
We had planned to do some walking while looking for an olive oil store, but that seemed like a bad idea in the rain. We also needed to find the location of Casa Patas, where we were going to see a flamenco performance Monday evening. “Evening” meaning 10:30 pm. We must be getting somewhat used to the late hours. Finally, at about 3:00 pm we decided to brave the weather and went out.
Casa Patas is only a 6-7 minute walk from the apartment and we found it easily. It was still raining but we decided to try a Mexican restauranté near the apartment. we had seen the menu before and it looked like real Mexican food and not Tex-Mex. We both had excellent meals. Everything was made with fresh, tasty ingredients and plated nicely. As far as I could tell, everyone else in the mid-sized restaurant was speaking Spanish. I asked the pleasant waiter/bartender/server if he was from Mexico, thinking that the food seemed authentic. No, he said. He comes from Peru. We may have to go back once more before we leave Madrid.
Unsurprisingly, the rain stopped shortly after we returned to the apartment. We had a comfortable evening reading and listening to music before we headed out to Casa Patas at just before 10:00. When we got to the venue, we saw that there were still many people eating dinner in the restaurant part. We thought that might mean we would not get good seats. When the taquilla (ticket office) opened and we traded my receipt for tickets, I noticed that my name was highlighted in yellow marker on ticket list. Probably not good, I thought. But I was wrong. When we got into the performance area the usher (el acomodador) put us in the first row on the best corner at a small table. the seats were very good. In fact, we have had very good luck with seating at all of the non-festival performances. At one show in Granada, I sat literally next to the cantaora.
The show at Casa Patas was very entertaining. Dancers/baialores Claudia Cruz, Auxi Fernández, and Miguel “El Rubio” (the blond; but he wasn’t.) were all good performers. The three singers/cantadores, Juan José Amador “El Perre”, Gabriel de Pies Plomo, and Roberto Lorente worked well together and individually. The guitarra, Miguel Luis Manzana was wonderful both when he accompanied and when he soloed.
The performance area (dance floor? ¿pista de baile?) is relatively small and we were so close that we had to hold on to our drinks when Auxi used a manton (shawl) as part of her dance. We were also so close that most of the pictures I took look like I was shooting almost vertically–because I was. The time flew by and the performance did not finish until after midnight. It’s a good thing that we are staying nearby because it was a cold walk home.
Overnight the temperature was in the mid 30s. Tuesday morning, as I write, the temperature is heading towards 40 and it may get into the mid 40s. However, the wind is blowing hard (hace viento) and it feels quite cold.
The weather on this trip has proven to be a good topic of conversation and a way to practice Spanish even if it has, at times, disrupted our plans.