Gringo Suelto

Long ago in a previous live I was an Army Officer charged with escorting two Peruvian Generals to visit major training and military educational facilities in the USA. We were at West Point and took in a parade and football game which was very difficult to explain to them. On Sunday we had a free day before I returned them home to Lima. I asked them what they would like to do for the day. Their answer was “New York City!” I was the worst possible guide for them but we jumped in the rental car, all in civilian cloths and headed south to the big apple. We started at Ellis Island, went to the Twin Towers and Empire State Building and Grand Central. One of the Peruvians was particularly fond of hot dogs so we stopped many times to sample. I can still see his smile as he said “Somos tres Gringos Sueltos en New York”.

For them, a poor country under terrible threats of terrorism and a price on their heads, it was hard for me to imagine the shear pleasure in simply walking down the street with no security detail and your only care was the next hot dog. Since then, I have lived the phrase gringo suelto or loose gringo (gringo on the loose) and with my Camino Reunion guests gone, that is what I am tonight in Madrid.

National Palace at Sunset when the people come out.

Tonight I pretended to be a real Madrileño by walking about many of the favorite night spots. Had to stop for a wine and a tapa at Plaza Santa Ana. I was lucky to get a seat as there were thousands of people snacking and walking about.

Did not need much dinner as I took myself to the Buey restaurant for lunch. It was Jean’s favorite. It has not changed a bit and the hot plate where you warm/cook your own tenderloin and the mushroom sauce are still spectacular.

I do love this town.

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