This past week has been very eventful for Madrileños, with a combination of Pride Week and a Metro strike. Pride has been long awaited, since Madrid was the WorldPride Capital this year. The city has been decorated completely in rainbow, with billboards saying “Rainbow is the new black” and “Ames a quien ames, Madrid te quiere” (Whoever you love, Madrid loves you). The week has been jam-packed with activities, such as concerts and their huge parade on Saturday. The entire city has given 100% effort to the week, and it is very cool to see. It was especially interesting because there is still controversy to this topic in the United States, so I’ve never seen anything like it.
I also learned this week that it is not uncommon for the metro drivers of Madrid to strike because they want higher wages. That being said, they chose to place their strike during this past weekend, when Madrid was anticipating approximately 2.5 million visitors for Pride week. They did this in order to have a more significant impact. When I first heard about the strike, I envisioned no metros running and having to figure out how to walk to work. However, that was not the case at all. The metro is extremely efficient in Madrid, and usually the waits are less than five minutes. During the strike, the wait was typically between five and ten minutes. This was really only a minor inconvenience, which I was not expecting at all. It made me laugh a little bit because that would be considered a short waiting time for Port Authority.
I’ve loved seeing these two different parts of Madrid’s culture, and how they affect daily life in different ways. I’ll be sad to see all of the rainbow disappear, but I am definitely looking forward to end of this strike 😉