In Madrid around 6pm, Madrileños (citizens of Madrid) can be seen shuffling home through the underground local transportation “El Metro”. Many people in rather formal attire piled in línea 6 (line 6) which races in a complete circle around the city. The smell of the metro is unique, but the mask mandate now plays a role. While waiting for línea 6 to arrive one might feel a gust of wind rush by as the subway cars arrive. Every once in a while, there are some rare occurrences such as on September 7th when a guitarist serenaded and strummed his acoustic version of ‘Jailhouse Rock’ by Elvis Presley. The people responded in various different ways. Some people ignored him by looking in the opposite direction or pretended not to notice with their earbuds in, some people smiled, and one or two people tapped the beat on their leg. The people that enjoyed the performance tipped the guitarist when he finished as he moved to the next subway car to perform again.
The subway car that witnessed the guitarist’s performance is an audience of all shapes, sizes, and colors. The majority of women wear blouses with pants while the men wear collared shirts with shorts or pants. Some people wear sandals, other people wear shoes, but everyone has some sort of bag and wears their masks properly. Only one or two people chat on the phone, the rest sit in silence on their phones, or stare into space.
A group of young adults chat away in Spanish when all of the sudden they observe two women slam into the closing metro doors, which quickly reopen allowing them to enter the train. A woman catapults out of her seat to exit the train and collides into someone telling them “Aye perdón” (Oh, sorry). A younger girl quickly swipes her seat. A young crowd fills the seats while an older crowd of people stand holding on. A young man offers the older man his seat, but the kindly refuses. Past a certain hour of day, the metro doors will not open on their own so the passenger must press a green button to open them. Upon exiting the metro, everyone stands idly on the escalators which is contrary to the metro in the morning where people can be seen hustling on them as they dash to school or work. Upon exiting the metro a young male leaps over the gate where people normally tap their monthly paid metro card to access the underground transportation. That was an interesting commute.