Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

After three gorgeous weeks in Barcelona and another lovely week in the Basque Country, I continued on to spend three weeks in Madrid… with some strange setbacks, but some lovely times as well. And even managed to catch Blackalicious. For the vicarious thrill travelers, here's the update…

{oh yeah, and if you wanna practice speaking Spanish, I need to find study partners before I've forgotten all I've learned… so email me!}


So I feel the need to fess up straight away and tell all of you…. I ate ear. Yes, during my avowed year of carne vegetarianism, I somehow lacked the strength to offend the sweet hombre who owned the tapas place, the first Madrileño who was nice to me (did I mention how lonely I felt those first 24 hours…?). So when he insisted I try something, well, I just did it. Afterwards he revealed what it was: "oreja," also known in English as EAR. Pig ears. Mmmm, tasty.


**dude, where's my shit?**

So within days of arriving in Madrid, I lost my wallet and my school notebook (stolen? lost? not sure…). Well, two nights later, my purse was stolen. At a karaoke bar, no less. With a bunch of swedes (swedes rule).

Yes, the purse my good friend Libby made me for my birthday. Yes, with my digital camera inside (though thankfully, not with my 256 memory card that contained most of my photos). But yes, with another bolsito from Libby inside… and (argh, I can hardly bear to write it…) with my journal, the one with photos and well-wishes from my friends in Seattle, the one with all my lovely sad notes about my travels… gone. Oh yeah, remember when I said I would send postcards to anyone who send me their addresses…? Well, those were in there too. So… maybe the thief was considerate and placed them in a mailbox, but I so far, no sign of them…

{And to add insult to injury, I had just ROCKED THE HOUSE with my stellar version of "Summer of 69," grrr.}

Even my Hotmail account was stolen! I was using Instant Messenger in an Internet Cafe one night, and got logged off the machine when my pre-paid time ran out. I incorrectly presumed that when the machine rebooted, my connection to IM was lost as well. Um, wrong. My friend Michael was lucky enough to receive the following oh-so-charming message:

imaginaryD says:
hey asshole—- arent you answertin????
mike says:
mike says:
did I miss something?
imaginaryD says:
hey man!!!
imaginaryD says:
a lot prick…..
mike says:
so, I presume dana accidently left her account logged in somewhere and some 9 year old has commandeered it?
imaginaryD says:
dana loves 8 year old pennis
imaginaryD says: so fuck off

I believe all of you know me well enough to know I would never demonstrate such a poor command of the English language. The nerve! To add further insult to injury, Señor "pennis" decided that opening my Hotmail account and deleting all of my emails since June would be funny. Hah fucking hah.

So there you have it: no wallet, no purse, no camera, no journal, no notebook, and no emails. It´s like some freeeeky Buddhist "don´t let your possessions possess you" living metaphor, except that I LIKED MY DIGITAL CAMERA, GODDAMNIT!!! And my lost writing, aye, don´t even get me started about that. Guess my addiction to email and online journaling have been worthwhile after all; if it weren´t for these updates, I would now have no words about my trip…


**freaky cabs**

Remember how I complained about all the weirdo cab experiences in my Barcelona update? Well, the Madrid experience was so far more awful, it's hard to type it. But I must, for posterity. So I will retell it now, and we shall never speak of it again…? Well, the Madrid experience was so far more awful, it's hard to type it. But I must, for posterity. So I will retell it now, and we shall never speak of it again…

I was riding home in a 3am cab with three girlfriends: Madeleine (German) in the front seat, Matilde (Austrain) and Inge (Belgian) and I in the back. Inge and I were giggling about boys… we were almost home, and the cab stopped. Madeleine said, rather sharply, "Dana!" — followed by a slew of unintelligible (to me) German. I thought it a bit odd that she was addressing me in a language she knows I don't understand, but figured she was just confused, because she and Matilde had been speaking German all weekend.

So Madeleine and Matilde get out of the cab, Inge and I stay and pay the driver. "Esta bien?" I ask him. He nodded yes, that all was fine, and we hopped out — to find Madeleine a bit freaked out. Matilde explained that the German exclamation translated loosely to, "GET OUT OF THE CAR NOW," as our driver was *jerking off* while he was driving, in full-on site to Madeleine in the front.

Poor girl was in such shock she fell to her native tongue, leaving Inge and I in ignorant bliss about his… err, bliss. Ew. I had even tipped him — which I guess was better than the alternative: taking money back from his hand.

**disco palace**

Since the fall of the whole Franco-dictatorship thing back in the late 70s, Madrid has grown to have an obscencely great reputation for nightlife, with the abundance of clubs and places to go approaches ridiculously overwhelming (like, over 10,000 bars in Madrid-proper), with the clubs raging until 9 or 10 in the morning on the weekends. No 2am last call in this town…

There´s a gorgeous discoteca there called Palacio, literally an old palace complete with frescoes and everything. I went with seven friends one Thursday night for "intercambio" night — a word that I now believe translates to mean, "Spanish-guys-looking-for-tall-blonde-foreign-girlfriends."

First thing: the queue was miles long. We failed to woo the bouncer into letting us in. So my audaciously wonderful roommate (hi Madeleine!) turned to the guys in the front and requested that she could just go in, right…? (mind you, she speaks virtually no Spanish… but I like to think her, ahem, virtues transcend language…) So in we went! No wait, no nothing (and of course, no other friends; they weren´t clever enough to follow the gorgeous blonde German´s lead, as I was!)

Once inside, phew! The crowd, at least 80% male. ¡Tiberons! We were attacked, almost literally,
by a swarm of the shortest, most stereotypic Spainards. First thing I got asked: "¿Quires besarme en una esquina oscura?" (translation: would you like to kiss me in a dark corner?) My first reaction: I was so excited to understand him so perfectly in a noisy bar, I appeared delighted! I think Señor Besos got the wrong impression; I quickly righted the situation in approximately 4.2 seconds as I fled (well as much as it´s possible to flee into a sea of cabrones).


One of my other roommates is Bjorn, a charming sweet young thing from Sweden. This past weekend, his friends came to visit and stay with us. They even cooked us dinner (yes, I made appropriate "Swedish Chef" jokes, fear not).

So his two friends knew two other Swedish friends, who knew two other Swedish girls who were visiting… and then next thing I knew, I was surrounding by a houseful of Swedes in Spain. Eating Swedish fish and everything (seriously!). I learned they have another popular candy, Swedish cars (not just Volvos!). Seriously, they were so super sweet and stylish (phew, this is fun!!), and one of the visiting girls (hi Nina!) knew so much about music it was nearly chilling; it was the first conversation I had had had about music since I arrived in Europe almost 2 months before: Bright Eyes, Magnetic Fields, Le Tigre…. ahhh!

Then we all went to the aforementioned karaoke bar; I sang the Bryan Adams, Madeleine sang "99 Luftbalons," and my new Swedish friends sang Hanson "MMM Bop." Absolutely amazing.

Then my purse got stolen, as you already know… um, yeah. And that was that.

(how does one say "meh" en español, anyways?)


I got a slight break from the cheeseball addictive Spanish pop songs to hear San Francisco´s own Blackalicious play in a club in Madrid. I can't remember the name of the club. Sorry. Suffice it to say it was awesome. Except for all the Americans.

My German friend Madeleine and I were in line for almost 4.3 seconds before being approached by two American guys. They were all like, "Hey, are you American?" Turns out they were from Denver. They asked me if I knew where Denver was. No, actually, he turned to my German companion Madeleine and said, "You guys think we Americans are like, bad at geography and stuff, right?" and THEN asked me if I knew where Denver was. I told him I had no idea. Then I ran away. Quickly.

Madeleine turned to me and said (with that oh-so-cutely-pragmatic German accent), "They just look so terrible. People shouldn't be allowed to look so terrible." Ahh, how I love Germans.

List of interesting stats from the show:

  • Actual black guys spotted at the show: 3
  • Number of white guys with dreds: 12
  • Euros for a diet coke (aka coca cola light): 3
  • Number of people smoke weed and hash quite publicly: countless

The funniest part of the show was that the frontman kept requesting of the audience that, "When I say, "Who´s roooooockin´it?" you all point up here to the stage and say, "YO!"

Of course, in España, "yo" actually means "I" — so I think this conflict might have confused the Madrilaños a wee bit. No matter. Great show. They are an inspiration to how uplifting hip hop can be.

They made me proud to be American…


And goddamn but it's good to be home!!!

besos to you all!!
chica imaginaria D.