Thursday, April 28, 2011

Atocha Renfe Station

Today in LS 454 (19th century Span. Lit), we were talking about ETA, the terrorist group from El País Vasco, the basque country, in Northern Spain.  There, they speak Vasco, and want to exert acceptance of their own cultural identity (separate from the rest of the country's regions) on others.  About 7 ish years ago, there was a pause in ETA's violence after Al-Qaeda bombed the metro at the Atocha Renfe station, killing hundreds of people who were on their way to work that morning.  It was like the Spanish 9/11.
The Microclimate Garden inside the Atocha Renfe Station
I had heard that the bombing happened, but I didn't realize it was at Atocha Renfe.  The Atocha Renfe station has train lines that run on the metro through the city, Cercanias Renfe lines that go farther out, and the Ave, which is the high speed train to other cities.  It's one of the largest train stations in Madrid.

I've been through the station at Atocha Renfe several times.  It's right by El Parque del Retiro. There's a Dunkin Coffee on the corner.  It's like right next to El Museo de la Reina Sofía; I went to that museum to see Guernica so many times.  I went through Atocha with my friend, Katie, to get to El Real Jardín Botánico, the botanic garden. We went through Atocha Renfe to take the Ave, the high speed train, from Madrid to Córdoba too.  How weird. Uncomfortable.  How could I not know?

The Ave

I remember seeing security cameras, police, and dogs very frequently at metro stations.  I bet there were more at Atocha Renfe, but I really can't remember.

I've never been to Ground Zero in NY.  I wonder what it's like.

How odd to be in a place that's been attacked.  Not to mention the entire Birthright trip...and the Guatemala trip.  Hmm...perhaps I should travel safer.  Then again, you can't live in fear.  I guess you just have to try and be cautious but not inhibit your life.  How about volunteering in Roxbury, MA during FYSOP?  Certainly not the best area ever.  And living near UChicago in the future..

There's so much hatred in the world.  Wouldn't it just be simple to leave other people alone?  All you have to do is not act - it should be easy.  Sometimes people really suck.

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