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Having missed the 12 O’clock bus we caught the next one to Madrid. I had packed a bag of snacks for us but I forgot it on the bed when I was getting my camera stuff together so we got some food at Principe Pio Mall then hopped on the metro to Casa del Campo, the stop for the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium.

Outside there was a small line of parents with their children waiting to shell out their 20 Euros each, unfortunately there wasn’t a student discount. I don’t think the zoo was worth that much but the nice day spent was; plus it’s so cool to see monkeys swinging from things although if my students had such jungle gym im sure it would look the same. In the baboon area people were throwing food to the baboons. The dominant one sat atop a tree branch catching peanuts one after the other; then someone threw a tangerine, which he caught and nearly finished before someone chucked a whole carrot at him. His reaction was amazing he dropped the tangerine remnants and caught the carrot almost simultaneously.

We checked out some snakes and other reptiles then entered the aquarium, a dizzying, blue green echo chamber of children’s screams and refracted light waves. Both Ola and I bolted through there and checked out a bird show, with a massive Andean Condor, a Bald Eagle, a Falcon and some other less exciting birds. The falcon was dive-bombing a piece of meat attached to a piece of rope that the trainer was swinging around above her head. Finally he snatched it up and perched himself on another trainers arm.

We hadn’t seen the lions and tigers so we went in search of them (they charge .60 Euros for a map).  Eventually we found the Siberian tiger and another one but the Lions must have been inside of the den sleeping.

Since we were already near Media Mart, sort of, we hopped on the metro to check out prices and options for a new PC but first we both needed to eat. I remembered an interesting looking restaurant around the corner which serves a menu of Galician organic and sustainable products. Their motto translated is, “Eating organic isn’t more expensive it’s more healthy.” Judging by the menu it certainly was more expensive. But I found something for a reasonable price that sounded like it may be good; “chipirones en su tinta con arroz”. This was my first time in a restaurant since Avila with Ola.

They brought out our plates, Ola’s chicken salad and my pile of rice surrounded by what looked like used motor oil with pieces of radiator hose. I was hungrier than I was skeptical so I didn’t even think about it… turns out that it was delicious but I still have a grudge against Spanish restaurants idea of what a meal is. Here there is no such thing as a balanced meal, one with some type of meat starch and vegetable; it’s certain you will get meat, rice or potato is a possibility and a vegetable must be begged for.

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