Monday, March 05, 2007

Short sleeves in Winter

AOG, Madrid

Last Friday I walked to work in short sleeves with a jumper tied round my waist just in case. Winter in Madrid has been a mostly cold, as well as sunny, affair. The wearing of shades continued much as it always does year-round in this country.

No one said a word about this at the office. I think for most it was just a matter of time before the weather changed. Unlike in London, the locals think of the weather in a very matter-of-factly way.

Sunlight is somehow their birthright, and it leaves occasionally to grace other lands, before coming back home. Simple as that.

On a different note, these days Spain is enmeshed in Europe's biggest terrorist trial. I look at the accussed and wonder, really wonder, if these men, if all of these men, are members of Al Qaeda. I don't claim to know what a terrorist looks like. I suppose they look quite normal. But these men on television don't really look like they could have orchestrated the massacre of the 11 March, 2004. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't. I suppose enough evidence has been gathered to ensure these men are there because enough reasonable doubt has been drummed up regarding their innocence or culpability. I am glad I am not the man who has to decide their innocence or otherwise. I am a mere spectator. And the show on offer somehow does not convince me of their culpability. Not yet. Maybe in the future. Perhaps as more evidence comes forward, perhaps then. But not yet.

I got back from London this morning. It was cold, raining, the usual. I arrived in Madrid to a blast of sunshine and a baking hot journey from Barajas' Terminal 4 to the underground station. Blinded and baked I descended from the bus thinking how diverse the climate can be when separated by a few kilometers. Although I was quite sleepy from having slept very little and having been up since 5 AM, the sunlight slowly took away the sleep, the tiredness, the morosity. In its place a silly bit of energy fuelled by sunlight kept me up til now.

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