So far, our confinamiento perimetral seems to be mainly on the honor system. This morning, I walked the boundary streets and sticking to them rather than just heading down to the park took self-discipline: nobody official was checking anything. Maybe all the people crossing the street from allowable to unallowed were going to work, school, or the doctor… or maybe not.
The usual suspects — tottery old people with their chicas at the ready at their elbows to steady them, dog walkers towing spanish greyhounds and west highland terriers (two of Madrid’s favorite breeds), the hale and hearty carrying barras of bread under their arms — were out taking their morning constitutionals.
One thing that stopping to snap pictures highlighted was how close people stand next to each other. There may have been many epidemiological failures in Spain — but the fact is, this also is a convivial culture.
Usually about ten a.m., students from the nearby universities travel into the neighborhood in huge packs to sit together at the sidewalk cafes to play cards, roll cigarettes, and down a mid-morning beer. Right now, that group is largely absent — but I did catch two businessmen on their mid-morning coffee break.
Stopping to take photos also reminded me how many things I can buy in a few block’s radius of our apartment, from cookies to coffee pots to chestnuts to bookbinding supplies.
Plus hams. Just think how many hams hang inside shops just in Madrid alone. (Note both the ham-drip catchers and the “covid eradication station.”