I have returned. And you probably never realised I was gone. Blogger pretended to be me by posting my pre-scheduled posts while I was getting a sunburn in Madrid.
Now I am back and no more cheating; this post is in real time.
Here is a photo I brought you back from Spain:
All streets in old Madrid have those beautiful street signs. They are hand painted tiles that represent the street name with a picture. The one above is of the 'Booksellers' Street'. And as you would expect there were at least five little bookshops on it. They all looked more less like that one on the picture - with all the books behind the counter. They were selling mostly text books and because of the arrangement it was impossible to browse. Hence, I didn't buy any books there.
However, I had promised myself I would buy some books in Spanish because my Spanish is becoming rusty and on our last day in Madrid I finally found a big, three-storey high El Corte Ingles bookshop. Before I knew it I was handing the cashier my Visa card and coughing up lots of euros.
Here is my haul (together with book magazines I had bought the day before):
Spanish publishers still put numbers for each title they publish which I find endearingly old-school (it also appeals to my OCD nature, I admit).
After buying books to my heart's content, I joined my friends and we continued strolling, shopping and generally melting in Madrid's heat. It wasn't until quite some time later that my boyfriend said:
'Kinga, where is your suitcase?'
See, it was the last day, we had already checked out of the hotel and we were dragging our possessions around Madrid.
I went pale clutching my precious books to my chest. I remembered having a suitcase, of course. I had dragged it all the way to the Buen Retiro Park and back, I was sure. But now, it was most definitely gone.
As I am generally a reasonable and responsible person with one serious vice - unhealthy obsession with books, there was only one place where my suitcase could've been. The bookshop.
And there it was; sitting somewhere between the classics and comic books where I had carelessly abandonded it. No one seemed to be paying it any attention.