Sunday, October 08, 2006

Madrid is a great city in which to be carless. The metro is clean(-er than restaurants, bars, my hair), brightly colored, and easily navigable. There are cheap flights, bright green buses (other colors also available), comfortable trains, and oh, oh, ten minutes walk from my house there is the Atocha train station. Or rather, there is the forest inside the Atocha train station.

Really lovely, larger than it looks here, turtles in the pond, and, this week, an exhibition of photos and biographies of women rebels, titled "Women in Jail." Women who resisted Franco, women who fought on the battlefield, English suffragettes. I didn't have to time read most of it (see the blue thingums that the people are reading from? That's the beginning of the exhibition, which continues twisting through the "jungle,") but there was a lovely foreward which I photographed (in Spanish, so I won't put it up here), which talked about how rarely acknowledged most of this history is. It contained one of the many references to the gender system of the Spanish language. One of the many lies I was told about Spanish was that nobody thinks about the genders of the words. This is absolute nonsense. Even on that vapid American Idolesque show I watch with Maria Jose, it's come up. Male is the default for words that go both ways, such as the martyrs* of the resistance to Franco, and the thesis of the exhibition was that historians, like the Spanish language, tend to ignore the contributions of women.

I was there yesterday, waiting for an hour (Madrid is a terrible city in which to be carless) to get three train tickets to Toledo, where I felt very litte, but took lots of pictures. I will post them! I'm doing well.

*That is, if you are speaking of a male martyr, you call him "el mártir." A group of male martyrs is "los mártires." A female martyr is "la mártir," and a group of female martyrs is "las mártires," but a group of male and female martyrs would be "los mártires," every time.


Ariel said...

Toledo Toledo! So beautiful!!

Also, did you have marzipan??

Also, don't try sitting on the floor in the train station because some uniformed guy will tell you not to.


me for now said...

I did have marzipan! And I will post a photograph of it! And answer my damn letter! And are you coming to Europe? And I´m probably going to Cordoba this weekend, so, you know. Cool.