An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and the Government thereof; and for Purposes connected therewith. Citation: 30 & 31 Vict c. 3: Dates; Royal assent: 29 March 1867…
I guess most people haven’t heard of this great Spanish museum.
Its not a global tourist magnet in the way that the Louvre is — and perhaps that’s all to the best. But this amazing collection of masterpieces in the heart of Madrid sits with me as the greatest experience of my museum-visiting life.
I had come to Europe with my peers after two years of intensive postgraduate study in Visual Art.
It was a year of firsts for me, the excitement of a first walk through falling snow, the strange muffled presence of peacocks in the snowy darkness in Vienna, the bare cells and beautiful frescos of San Marco, the wonder of white balloons and candles in Siena’s precipitous town square and a rowdy ride around a sculpture park on borrowed bikes in the Netherlands.
By the time I reached Madrid, our group had peeled off to destinations far and wide, some to traverse the obscure reaches of Europe and South America and some to the safety and hum-drum of home. In the lengthy journey from Paris to southern Spain, I was accompanied by a young man who managed to maintain a relaxed equilibrium in the face of my increasingly manic behaviour.
He was patient, and then some.
I remember an ill-fated trip to a fast food cafe where he innocently mixed up my order.
Filled with an inexplicable rage, I slapped the tray from his hands, sending french fries and chicken pieces into the air and across the floor. Unsuspecting patrons turned their heads in shock.
I was stressed and exhausted, yet I was also excited and enriched by the unique experiences I had been granted — experiences that many people never get to have.
I had no idea why I was behaving so badly.
Alongside all the wonder and excitement of those three months in Europe, I lived and traveled with terrible anxiety.
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