Madrid, Spain — August 26, 2017

I’m sorry to report that I have little to write today and no pictures of the city of Madrid. When I got up yesterday morning, I thought I  was over the effects of the stomach ache that I had had the night before, but that turned out to not quite be the case. I found myself tired and with no energy, so I spent almost the whole day in the hostel and part of it in bed sleeping. I also slept about ten hours last night, a lot for me.

Breakfast is officially not served here in the hostel until 8 am, but I enter the breakfast room around 7 when the night watchman is eating his. He always seems glad for the company and makes sure that I get my breakfast early. In general, the Spanish are very friendly and quite anxious to be helpful to others.

I  did get some writing done yesterday. I am writing my second novel, although I make little progress on it on the days when I am up and about. My first novel plus a  book about my hiking the Camino francés are featured in the left sidebar of this blog.

Let me tell you a bit about the hostel where I am staying. I’m in an 8-bed dormitory, which is divided into two rooms by a high partition. There have been three of us in the dorm room since I got here. A Spanish guy sleeps on the other side of the partition. He is in Madrid for work and leaves every weekday morning for work and comes back in the evening. Today is Saturday, and I notice he is taking advantage of the weekend to sleep in. It is after 9 am, and he is still in bed.

There are two of us on my side of the partition., The other man is a middle-aged, bent over Greek man who is very meticulous in his habits. it takes him almost ten minutes to wash his hands. He speaks reasonable Spanish and some English, so we can communicate. In the picture below, my bunk is the one at the lower left with the sheets in disarray and the junk sitting on it. The Greek sleeps on the other lower bunk. You can only see part of it, but I assure you that it is neatly arranged.

I cannot communicate well with the Spanish guy. He speaks with an accent that I am unfamiliar with, and he speaks very fast. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that I would understand him better if he would slow down. We have little opportunity to speak in any case, because up until today, he has come to the hostel mainly to eat, shower, and sleep.