Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Part of the Club.

This is a silly picture but it is the only one I can find that explains the "Motorcycle wave". For you non-bikers out there, when two bikes cross paths on the lonely highway, the bikers (usually) give a very low key and "too cool for school" wave to each other. This is standard practice in L.A. on the twisting roads of the Santa Monica Mountains but I was very surprised (for some reason) when I encountered the same practice on the roads outside of Madrid.

Now, there is one thing that will always be the case no matter what I do in Spain - I will always be a foreigner. And, on top of that, I will always be an American....foreigner. I can't count how many times I have walked into a bar, the market, a store, whatever, and the Madrilenos take one look at me and say (to themselves) uh oh, where is this guy from and what does he speak? Is this going to be a pain in the ass? They are always guarded. I have to proceed to win them over - most of the time. They know I'm a foreigner, but from where? When they find out I'm an American it usually adds a whole new layer to the issue, "Hey, how about your amigo Booosh?".

Well, there was one place where I belonged to the Spanish club. When I was on the roads around Segovia and Avila, safely hidden in my helmet, passing Spanish bikers on the road - and I got the wave. No immediate sizing up my physical appearance or language ability, no checking out my clothes for clues, I was a Spanish biker, a member of the club.

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