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11:07am on Tuesday, 11th August, 2015:

Nine until Noon


I spent three hours wandering around central Madrid this morning. My interview was put back by an hour, otherwise it would only have been two hours.

Madrid uses Central European Time for its clocks, but everyone acts as if the country used Greenwich Mean Time (which makes more sense as it's west of the UK). As a consequence, everything happens an hour after the clocks suggest it should happen.

Thus, at 9am, the only shops that were open were the kind that would be open in the UK at 8am. I therefore spent the first hour refamiliarising myself with the layout of the city while suddenly remembering disconnected fragments of Spanish vocabulary from when I was studying it at school 40 years ago.

After an hour, I had an ice cream in an café that had just opened then I returned to the hotel to take my jacket off. I didn't see a single other person wearing a jacket in the whole of the time I was walking around, so can only assume that I was the only Englishman on the street. Either that or defying the weather is no longer a national characteristic.

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Copyright © 2015 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).