February 29, 2024

Wow! What a last couple of days here in Madrid – and in many parts in Spain! We’ve had so much rain here that you’d think the Rio Manzanares would look more like a RIVER and less like a GARDEN! But no. While maybe 6-inches higher, the river is still pitifully low. Why is that? Someone told me the river was being “retained” or collected upstream for reservoirs. I’ll have to look into that to satisfy my curiosity.

It rained all day yesterday and the day before. Tuesday night, I think, it rained all night long. This is SO unusual for Madrid these past few years but I hope it’s a trend. (I won’t hold my breath, though) If it keeps up like this throughout the autumn and winter we should be standing very well for the next hot, dry summer of 2008.

I was out doing things all day yesterday, going to the Social Security Office in Aluche to clear up something (done!), then to the bank next door to TRY to clear up something (failed), then to Gran Via to drop off some papers for work (done!), then to visit a sick-yet-recovering friend. I did all this by taxi because A) It was raining, and B) because it was faster – but the three trips cost me about 25€. This is not cheap but yesterday the time saved was more valuable than the money spent. Had I taken public transportation it would’ve easily added 1.5 – 2 hours to my busy morning. Thank goodness taxis are so easy to find in this city.

There I was in the taxi, at every stoplight, marveling at the water cascading down the street. Just amazing for here. In Columbus, Ohio we would sometimes go an entire week of nearly non-stop rain in summer, spring, fall, and winter, but not here. That’s why whenever the clouds billow up in the Madrid sky I always take a moment to admire them as they’re so rare. And thunder, what’s that?! Something also rare in Madrid.

What I do miss here are the storms. In Ohio we have huge, blustery, serious storms with rain, lightning, thunder, hard gusts of wind. LOUD storms. I miss those. I tell this to Spanish people and they think I’m crazy. “How can you miss storms? I’m afraid of them!”, they tell me. I guess most people on earth are rightfully afraid of storms. I love them. There’s almost no better way to experience nature’s power and influence, to actually feel the world around you as if it’s saying, “Hey insignificant beings! I’m here! Remember me? Tread Lightly!”

Today’s a clear, typically sunny day. I like the clouds. They give the skies so much character. Who likes a blank canvass?

UPDATE: Later this same day, MadridMan gets his wish!
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