July 14, 2024

travelMy favorite sport in Madrid, home of the Real Madrid fútbol (soccer) team? People watching. And the best part? It’s free.
So just plop down on the brick surface in the center of one of the various plazas in Madrid or pop a squat on the ledge that surrounds the Temple of Debod and take a look around at the wonderfully eccentric people of Madrid.
You will see five muscular men dancing without music, somehow completely in-sync with one another, their bodies convulsing to a beat that only they can hear. What’s their story?
You will see a group of four older ladies sporting heavy jackets, despite the balmy late-February air. They clutch one another’s arms, along with their handbags, as they gossip and giggle like a gaggle of giddy school girls. What’s their story?
You will see a flock of gawking tourists surrounding the men moving to that mysterious rhythm; all of them sport camera bags, sunglasses and the ever-so sensible tennis shoes. What’s their story?
You will see weathered old women and, lurking in the shadows, clanging cups of tinkling change. Are they seeking out the most empathetic-looking of the group? Hoping for someone to temporarily forget about their half-open satchels? What’s their story?
You will see three older gentlemen; each bears a different hat and a different musical instrument. Together, the trio made up by an accordion, a bass and a saxophone, add some spring to the steps of people passing by. What’s their story?
You will see two men dressed in buttercup-yellow Egyptian attire, mysteriously levitating off the ground, a ragged Winnie-the-Pooh with a scratched eyeball and tattered red shirt. What’s their story?
You will see Spanish youth, some standing on the ledge staring at one another as if nothing else in the world matters; others attempt to master the art of slack-lining. Some can barely keep their balance, as they tilt precariously from side to side while their arms flair; others, much more graceful, can jump and flip and balance on one foot without batting an eye. What’s their story?
You will see a young girl with blonde ringlets, a book in her lap. A book for school? For pleasure? Palm to her cheek, she is completely lost in the world of the story that sits in her lap. What’s her story?
Hundreds of people. Hundreds of stories. All waiting to be heard.

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