Englishwoman vs. Spaniard on public transportation, Madrid 1871, and more evidence of my avant-garde nature

Pérez Galdós has the inglesa speak Spanish like this:

-¡Oooh!… usted… mi quejarme al coachman… usted reventar me for it.

We have read a novella describing a trip on Madrid’s first ever public tram, which started running in 1871 and was horse drawn. The route began in the barrio of Salamanca, went down Serrano to the Cibeles statue, and continued down on Alcalá. Then it turned into the Puerta del Sol and onto the Calle Mayor, and ends up in Pozas where the Corte Inglés now stands.

Now someone is keeping a blog on Madrid railways, and this is a map of my home barrio in elementary school, Madrid 28013. If I had walked up to Pozas, which was entirely possible, I could have gone to school by that very tram route.

I once had a Cuban meteorologist and cartographer take my class for a general education requirement. He was terrified of literature classes, willing to read the books but too petrified to write a traditional paper — or so he insisted. I had him work on weather imagery, mapping, and the representation of space.

He was as grateful as anyone I have ever seen, and kept shaking my hand with both of his. He believed I was letting him slide, but really I was not. He made a historical reconstruction of the routes Luisito in Miau takes through Madrid, with maps and other illustrations.

Now more than ever one can see I was right, since urban studies and urban cultural studies have become fields — and since it has been decided that literature is a part of a revised version of cultural studies.


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