Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things That Piss Me Off About Madrid

Well, not really. Actually, these are things that Piss Roberto off about Madrid. He’s over at Diarios de Tetuan, a Blog where you can actually learn something. I think he got up on the wrong side of the bed one day and decided to vent a little about Madrid.

Warning: This is not how I feel about Madrid. I love it. I’m not sure what his problem is …. ? So all nasty comments please direct them to Roberto, a real live Spanish person, at his original post here. All nice comments can be left below for me.

Apologies to Roberto for my translation, I have done very little translating in my life so I just do it in my own writing voice.

Here are the things that Piss Roberto off about Madrid:

1) Either there are too many people in Madrid or the city is too small. I think the city’s too small. Most other European cities with the population of Madrid are at least double or triple Madrid’s geographic size. The only thing I know is that there are definitely way too many of us.

2) Madrid has really crappy public services. I’m talking about the health department, the courts, the school system, local government, even the county and national services. All of them are overwhelmed. There are ridiculous rules meant only to make you lose half the day trying to do a simple task. The so-called ”public servants” treat you like shit because they are fed up and angry at life. And the worst part is the people don’t even complain, they don’t even realize that they are being treated like crap – and get to pay for the privilege through taxes. They have never known it any other way.

3) The people are loud and like cattle. Everyone goes to the same place at the same time. It’s amazing that in a city of almost 6 million people there is so little diversity.

4) Everyone is rude, aggressive, ignorant and selfish. Even those of us born outside of Madrid don’t take long to learn new bad habits from the locals.

5) There is a lot of racism here. Surprisingly or not (I’m still not sure) the newcomers are at least as racist, or more racist, than the Spaniards. A lot of the locals consider the newcomers as a threat so they make things difficult for them – just because. A lot of the recent arrivals feel transient and don’t even try to integrate themselves into Spanish society because it doesn’t seem worth it to them, or even possible. This is not good.

6) The food in Madrid is terrible and expensive. The drinks are just as bad and more expensive. Housing sucks and it's way too expensive. The quality of life in Madrid is lousy and costs too much.

7) Madrid is dirty and noisy. The dogs shit wherever they damn well please and dog owners don’t care either. Cars speed by at 80 KPH burning rubber at one in the morning right through quiet residential neighborhoods.

8) Kids think that splashing nasty graffiti all over the place is art.

9) People mix less and less. Social groups are more and more separate. Ghettos are starting to spring up separated by nationalities, or by level of income. People are marking their territory like dogs. This is a recipe for disaster. Just give it time.

10) Traffic here is crazy and the drivers are psychopaths. This is not a pedestrian friendly city. The car is king, cross-walks are rare. The sidewalks and parking lots are merely improvised. I sincerely hope that some future Mayor has the balls enough to charge 5 or 6 Euros for people to enter downtown in a car. I shouldn’t have to put up with some dude from Las Rozas or Getafe who comes in every morning with his SUV to MY city where I pay taxes so I can then breathe HIS exhaust fumes and deal with HIS honking. He should pay to come, or take the train, or buy a goddamn smaller house in Madrid! You can’t have it all in life.

11) Downtown Madrid is turning into some kind of theme park for tourists. It’s filled with dive-bars, pickpockets, hookers, and small-time drug traffickers.

12) There is no longer a sense of community in Madrid. Everyone does his or her own thing. We think that if we vote every four years – that’s enough. And since the politicians feel no pressure from us they do whatever they want. This is why we have a far-right PP and a PSOE that acts like some comedy routine from Pajares and Esteso. We get just what we deserve.

They say “After Madrid there is only Heaven.” Let me tell you, after living here – we’ve earned Heaven!

Wow! Roberto is pissed off! I think he needs a weekend away in the Sierra. He assures everyone that he is feeling better now though.

Just remember folks, I love Madrid and there is no way I agree with any of these complaints. That would be wrong. Especially for a foreigner like me to stick my nose where it doesn't belong.


Roberto said...

Hola Carl, very nice translation.

In case somebody is worried about my mental status, well, I just wanted to let you all know I'm feeling much better now, it was just one of those days, you know.

I love Madrid too, most of the time.

Anonymous said...

El tal Roberto parece que es catalán :)

Bilingual Blogger said...

Is Roberto your Spanish doppelganger? jejeje

Carl said...

No way. Roberto is definitely his own man and has set me straight on more than one issue.

I really don't see things as bleakly as this. I just liked the opportunity to complain with complete impunity.

Maria Castilla said...

Madrileños were rude in comparison to any other spanish I met. And I speak native spanish. They also looked very unhappy. I have been to Barcelona, Oviedo, Tenerife and Las Palmas and enjoyed very different interactions in those locations.