I was in luck... The place I am in staying at in Madrid is close to one of the better tapas bars in the city.
This is Don Jamon. It's a colorful place packed into a busy street of shops and cafes. It's easy to walk by it and dismiss it.
... But doing so would be a mistake Because it was a delightful experience for lunch.
I popped inside to ask the waiter if I could sit outside. He let me choose a table partially shaded under an umbrella. I ordered "agua con gas" and the jamon special. he asked if I wanted bread.
(I think restaurant bread is awful, for the most part. It can be really good. But at most restaurants - stateside or anywhere - it's stale filler. There's no need for it. Even when you are eating a massive plate of thinly sliced pork.)
He brought me my water and small plate of sliced salami and pepperoni meats.
They were delicious. Equally as yummy was the pattern on the plate. I fell in love with it, and momentarily thought about pocketing the small plate to take away.
But seeing as I subscribe to the idea of "not stealing and most of the 10 commandments", I decided against it.
He quickly brought out the plate of the dreaminess for me...
All kinds of sliced meats... And some manchego...
It was all so beautiful.
I sat and ate that plate for nearly an hour and a half. Eventually I ordered "sangria de copa", and he enthusiastically brought it "for the pretty lady."
"Working hard for that tip, eh buddy?" I thought.
I didn't care. I was simply happy to be in the Sunshine, eating some of my favorite things, having no one bother me, and drinking a fruity glass of wine.
Doesn't she look happy?
Afterwards, I walked back to my hotel and did what I am assuming all people do after lunch in Spain. I took a siesta.