Madrid Wed March 28

Woke up and laid for hours in the world´s smallest hotel room thinking about what to do with my life. One thing was for sure; I cannot afford to sleep in hotels anymore. I have

Woke up and laid for hours in the world´s smallest hotel room thinking about what to do with my life. One thing was for sure; I cannot afford to sleep in hotels anymore. I have to stay with friends. I should have friends in Spain, but who are they …

Aha, the Spanish mafia! Exchange students in Uppsala 2002-03. Didn´t know each other before they came but were united by their common language and interests such as attending roof parties in Flogsta Höghus and telling me that I´m not a real Swede. I had only taken the contacts of Julio, the Spanish mafia boss famous for his stinking cheese, and I had it in a cell phone that was stolen in Shanghai 2005.

But then I recalled that my friend B. had a romance with one of the Spanish mafia girls so I texted him to ask if he by any chance still had her number, which he had. She responded after a short while: “We´re having a party tonight, let´s meet up at Tribunal Metro station 8 pm”

Excellent.

I packed my stuff and did the city. I ran into some cool architecture.

I ran into groups of monks that for some reason filled up the streets.

And I ran into a 1€/hour internet cafe where they also served breakfast.

I had got an e-mail from Alex, one of the players from yesterday night. He told me that he was Basque and that he had set up a game meeting for me in Barcelona on Friday night. Friday meant the day after tomorrow and that was absolutely perfect. Thank you Alex! I searched for the cheapest hostel in town but it wasn´t cheap. Then I had kebab with vino tinto – a modern Spanish classic – and then slept again. I walked to Tribunal metro station and found Eva and she took me to a bar in Lamasaña, the famous Madrid bar district. They were celebrating a friend who had finished her PhD degree. Congratulations! I was horrified by the size of the beer glasses here, about 1,5 dl. Eva and Ana were now doing PhD studies in material sciences. Pablo told me that his brother was a big fan of Go and recommended me to check out Go-associations since they should be interested in Japanese. That´s a brilliant idea – Go players are also patient and intelligent and should be better Seigo-players than the average restless, theme-addicted and colors-craving eurogamer. Pablo had to go home before midninght since he was studying journalism all day and working all night in a news agency. They would send him abroad again for another year, but hadn´t decided if it would be US, UK or India. He thought India. I inquired what the rest of the mafia was up to. They told me that Julio was in Valencia. They told me that Raul had finally broken up with his Swedish girlfriend. They told me that Juan was still together with his Finnish political scientist and that they were moving to Norway. They told me that I was not a real Swede. But they are wrong, I am extremely Swedish.

Some other pictures.

(I think this about not “being a real Swede” is that the Swedish students in Uppsala were the shyest people on earth, as I’ve heard plenty of stories about. How Swedes don’t say “goodbye” when leaving the room, how they sneak up in the kitchen to make some tea and then runs into their room without saying “hi” etc. But I took a DNA test and was 1/3 Belgian and 1/6 Baltic, so maybe I ain’t a “real Swede” then.)

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