Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chinese in Madrid

This small shop is owned by
a family from Shanghai.
Madrid is about the last place I ever expected to speak Chinese, but I did.

The hotel where I stayed was just a short walk to a street that contained many small shops owned by Chinese people. I originally went to Calle de Leon to use an Internet cafe, and used two that were owned by Chinese. I also bought snacks several times at a small convenience store owned by a family from Shanghai, and one time struck up a conversation with a young woman working there that day. She was most surprised that I could speak her native language.

One thing I didn't come across though, at least in the neighborhood where I stayed, was a Chinese restaurant, though there were Japanese, Thai, Moroccan and American in addition to Spanish restaurants.

But there were many Chinese tourists at almost every attraction I visited, in stores and on the streets. I came across the most at the Palacio Real (Royal Palace), the third most-famous palace in Europe. I hadn't been planning to visit the palace, but then decided that going to Madrid and visiting the Palacio Real would be like going to Beijing and not visiting the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City isn't one of my favorite places in Beijing, but I found I much preferred it to the Palacio Real, which I thought was overpriced for what you got to see.

Are you going to China?

If a trip to China is in your plans, check out Cheryl's China and email me if you have any questions about travel in the Middle Kingdom.

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