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Red Boots

The Prostitutes and I like to hang out at Gran Vía

SPAIN | Friday, 8 February 2008 | Views [10591] | Comments [3]

I’m still in Madrid and I will continue to be for a few more days, as I have just booked until Tuesday morning.  This is partly because I am still enjoying Madrid and also because I now have a month to fill in time while I wait to start my tours of Ireland and Scotland.


I must be in a Madrid rut, because the routine I have had since arriving here is holding strong.  I get up in the mornings and go off to a new tourist attraction and then spend the afternoon walking the streets.  Walking the streets, an excellent segue to my story about prostitution in Gran Vía.  All the different travellers that have come in and out of my room in the last week have not stopped raving about the shopping on Gran Vía, which is basically just a large plaza with streets going off it.  I am trying to avoid shopping as much as possible so that I don’t tumble into a Campers shoe-buying frenzy (like Birkenstocks in Germany, when you arrive in a country that manufactures a particularly good shoe you kind of get sucked into buying them in that country, as it seems more authentic and, let’s be frank, cooler to say ‘I bought these Campers in Madrid’ rather than ‘I bought these Campers at Giallo on the Chadstone VIP night’)  Getting back to Gran Vía… so when this Argentinian girl, who sleeps in the bunk above me, showed me this awesome jacket she got from a shop on Gran Vía for only €5 I knew I had to go there and at least check the shopping action out.


I got off at Gran Vía station and began wandering around, looking for these great shops and admiring the footwear of the Spanish women.  I must stop here and explain that since it is winter in Europe that means it is boot weather.  I would love to get a new pair of flat boots and so I spend a lot of time staring at people’s shoes, trying to find a pair I like.  That is why that I couldn’t help noticing that for a city of women who generally like to wear flat boots, there were suddenly a lot of women wearing boots with really high heels.  And they weren’t particularly nice boots either; in fact they were garish colours and with tassels and stuff on them, and all of the women had them on.  And there were heaps of women.  And they weren’t moving quickly down the street, like everyone else does in Madrid, they were just standing still.  I looked around in confusion and when I saw a women leaning down into the window of a car that had rolled to a stop at the curb, that is when the penny dropped.  In my quest for Spanish clothes on sale, I had accidentally come across the place where… ‘ladies of the night’ ‘ply their trade’ and ‘look for johns.’  (If you have watched episodes of Law & Order SVU, you will be down with prostitution lingo and know that a ‘john’ is someone who purchases a prostitute’s ‘services’.)  I was getting a glare from a woman whose corner I was clearly on and so I walked out of there as quickly as possible. 


I later found out that I had gone in the wrong direction when I exited Gran Vía and instead of finding the Nike or H&M store, I had simply found the best place in Madrid to pick up a hooker. 

Tags: Misadventures



Hi Bronwen, sounds like an amazing adventure already. I can't believe how gutsy you are tootling around spain on your own. Am loving your rundown of everything - food sounds divine!

  vicki boykett Feb 8, 2008 4:08 PM


Hilarious Bron! You're even funnier in Spanish!

  Natasha B Feb 12, 2008 10:55 PM


If you ever return down that way, give my greetings to Enrico/a. Never could tell.

  JM Feb 24, 2008 10:18 PM

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