More than 6 six feet under

by Evans Yonson

Madrid – i am going to santiago de compostela tonight in a bus. on the way to the bus station, a 20 minute-ride away by Metro, i chanced upon so many characters of different shapes, colors, sizes, and preferences. it’s a sociological observatory lab whenever you get into the Metro in Spain. so, how do you distinguish who amidst the crowd?

spanish college students. they always come in groups. they are always loud and boisterous. they sit on the floor if they are tired. they carry plastic bags on weekends containing their drinks. if it’s late in the night, they are even louder and drunk. they are always in a party mood.

young american students. they can’t accept that spaniards are noisier than them so they try to be louder. with their ‘you-know you-know’ twang. it’s always easy to pick Bush’s citizen among the crowd.

the eastern europeans. two women and three men. they talk in their languages. unmindful of the others within their midst. they look very different than the rest of the blonde lots.

Sharing our first Metro ride together in December 2004. Metro Madrid station, Sol witnessed a great love affair. Wish I could turn back the train.

the professionals. they wear coat-and-tie and look very tired after a day’s work. they could use a drink or too. no matter how tired they maybe, they still look gorgeous like always ready to have sex.

the lonely dude. he is handsome but he is alone. he listens to his music and doesn’t seem to care about the world around him.

the lovely lady on the other side is even lonelier. she stares blankly on the glass window. perhaps wondering when will this lonely dude aprroach me and ask for my name.

A lovely Filipina poses wite Sandra Bullock in Metro Madrid station, Islas Filipinas. Photo courtesy of Clarissa Barrenechea.

the reading public. s/he reads a novel in spanish. i have never seen somebody reading an english novel. or even a newspaper in English or Time magazine. s/he reads gossip magazines of famous spanish celebrities. s/he reads the free dailies in the morning.

los negros (it’s politically correct to call them that here) are silent and people seem to be afraid of them always. it must be how media plays the africans. they are just very silent in a corner. they have bigger builts, the ones that the scare the hell out of you.

the mothers. peruvians. mexicans. colombians. and what have you latin americans. always with children in tow. in carts. with bags. on weekends, more bags and more children and just one husband.

latinas. you easily identify them by the sizes of their butts. JLo’s asset is just a concept here, a speck of an idea. they sway their hips as if South Asia is experiencing another tsunami.

With my classmates from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid during our first party for the year. Taken at Metro Madrid station Moncloa. October 2004.

the asians. always silent and ever observant. we just look and stare. and when we are stared at, we look away.

i believe that there are others, who like me, just take the Metro to observe and enjoy the scenery. it’s the perfect cosmopolitan adventure. the sub-terranean adventure. they run. they come. they go. but i stay calm and silent and ever noting what’s life beneath this dry-humid city called Madrid. this could be your city but for now, this is mine. and this is my six feet under.