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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Madrid: Volume 3: Part 1: The Moroccan Tea Incident

Madrid: Volume 3: The Moroccan Tea Incident
Current mood: Oldish and Sore-like
Category: Food and Restaurants

Saturday was our first full day in Madrid. We got up walked to the neighborhood dog park a few blocks from Hotel Gran Legazpi and has a time of singing and talking (about spiritual things). See the things we take forgranted over here like attending a house of worth ship (the original meaning of the word) can literally put peoples lives in danger even in a western civilized 'so-called' nation.
There is a large Muslim population and even Al Queda cells active within Lava Pies. That being said I never felt scared or in danger the entire trip; I have feared for my life on the downtown streets of Dallas, the rougher neighborshoods of Fort Worth, and even the late-night-redneck-infested parking lot of a Grand Prairie Whataburger. I was never nervous or concerned in Madrid.
However, to live there and work there and be a Christ follower there can be dangerous over time, if you are not wise with your safety and aware of your surroundings. That is quite a sobering thought to realize what we went and did for a week has to take into account protecting the safety of those who remain.
Madrid is a city of roughly 6 million people. It is the metropolis of Spain. The area where we did 'M' work is known as Lava Pies (meaning Washed Feet). It is the cheapest place to find housing in Madrid thus the first place immigrants move to when they come to start a new life.
Each morning after breakfast at the hotel, in the smoke filled cafe, we would head to the dog park. Speaking of breakfast Spanish coffee was excellent, just rich, strong espresso with about 3 times as much milk. It wakes me up just thinking about it.
Then we headed to Lava Pies via the 148 bus. We walked up and down this incredibly steep street visiting a store operated by the friend of one of our guides. Our guides were a husband and wife M team who had formerly live in Madrid. After getting a feel for the area we headed to a Moroccan resturaunt, called Al Alahambra, filled with Muslim men watching soccer. Curiously enough I forget what I ate but I do remember I liked it.
After lunch I was instructed to order some Moroccan tea which I assured I would love. I was skeptical but the tea proved to be worthy of its recommendation. It was a small (maybe 6oz.) glass of hot tea. It was the bomb! I have been craving some ever since. If I can find where to score some back here in the states I may just become a Moroccan tea junkie. In which case I will end up in the gutter on some back alley sleeping on cardboard and harassing people on street corners as I try to wash their windshields with spit and some old wadded up news print. Just hoping to get enough money to get one more sip. Yes, it was that good. I don't even know what made it so, but believe me it was so. Just a small glass, hot tea, a few perfect mint leaves and what I suspect was heap of suger.
This was a great start to the day. Even though we had been up for hours, at the dog park, riding the bus, and walking around Lava Pies it seems lunch was when the day began. Everytime we ate at a resturaunt we tended to stay for about 2 hours. This is the Spanish way. We were never rushed to leave, or empty our table so the resteraunt could rush customers in and out as quickly as possible. Lunch and dinner is a social occasion, time for talking, relaxing, truly enjoying your food and your company.
We returned via a walk and a bus ride back to the hotel. Here we grabbed our backpacks and loaded them up with DVD's. I don't advise you wearing backpacks around over seas as it is the number one sure sign to everyone else that you are a tourist and a dork. This makes you are target for pick pockets. The only real danger in Madrid is pick pockets and crossing the street. Pedestrians do not have the right of way and if you cross on red, you better be prayed up and have all your funeral arrangements prepared. On several occassions I witnessed drivers speeding up just to remind a straggler of their place on the food chain.

Currently listening:
Midi 20
By Grand Corps Malade

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