Landing in Madrid amidst an afternoon thunderstorm reminded me of the musical lyric, “The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.” This trip marked my fourth time returning to the Iberian Peninsula since I first stepped foot on it as a high school student in the summer of 1998.
It felt invigorating to once again be in the bustling metropolitan capital, with its ancient plazas, ornate fountains, and elaborate stone monuments at each intersection. Keeping in pace with an ever-advancing globalized world, Madrid boasted capitalist enterprises like Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, and TGI Fridays at every corner. Yet there was something starkly different about this culture from the rest of the civilized world. (more…)