In Barcelona now, feeling a bit better but not completely.
Still, most of my time in Madrid was in the hostel. Lying down. Drinking juice. All that. It’s a really good hostel but there just wasn’t a good crowd around until the last day and by then I’d got my ticket out anyway. There was an American guy called Tyler who managed to hit almost all the ‘ignorant American’ stereotypes and he seemed to be there all the time. He only got food from McDonalds because he couldn’t believe there weren’t any taco bells around. Then he sat in the kitchen and tried to hit on any girls that came in. Every second seemed to be spent listening to someone (sometimes me) trying to explain something to him. No, they aren’t from Albania, they’re from Austria. Yes, it’s a country. No, not Australia. In Europe, yes. No, they aren’t speaking Austrian, Austrians speak German. Yes, really. They’re here on holiday. That means ‘vacation’. No, it is the correct word, it’s just the English version. And so on. Then there was a rotund middle-aged Australian sports fan with a tick and a slur, a guy from Peru who had to give a five-minute backstory to each of his gratingly slow anecdotes. There was a Scottish guy who’d just started working there who was pretty cool apart from being a reader of the Daily Mail and a proponent of its views. That’s going to cause him some problems in the laid-back-hostel world for sure.
On the last day an Australian girl whose name really was “Victoria Snowball” (one of the best names I’ve ever heard, I’d say) arrived, then a load of American girls who were fairly unremarkable until they took their clothes off.
The station in Madrid was like an airport, including scanning of bags at the entrance. I thought that was a bit strange until I realized which station I was at. The train was very futuristic too, Barcelona a bit seedy but lively. So far.

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