Unexpected Irish in Madrid

An older man wearing a cap that says "Ireland" on it reads the newspaper. Other men sit near him while a couple walk past. A statue of a horse and rider in the background and a large poster advertising a Netflix show is prominent in the background.

There’s something about people and newspapers that fascinates me. Maybe it’s the contrast between the printed words and the digital screens that dominate our lives. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia for a simpler time when news was not a constant stream of updates and alerts. Perhaps it’s the curiosity about what stories catch their attention and what opinions they form.

On this day I was walking around Madrid, I saw an older man today, sitting on a low wall. He was wearing a cap that said “Ireland”, which made me wonder about his origins and his reasons for being here. Was he a tourist, a migrant, a retiree? Was he really Irish, or just a tourist that had passed through Dublin on the way here? Did he read the newspaper to stay informed, or to escape from reality?

He seemed oblivious to the people around him, who were also sitting on the wall but looking away. They were probably waiting for someone, or just enjoying the warm evening. A couple walked past them, hand in hand, smiling and chatting. They looked happy and in love, unaware of the old man and his newspaper.

The sun was setting behind the buildings, casting long shadows on the pavement. The light was fading, but the old man kept reading. He turned the pages slowly, as if savouring every word. He looked calm and content, as if nothing else mattered.

I wanted to talk to him, to ask him about his life and his thoughts. But I didn’t want to disturb him, to interrupt his peaceful moment. So, I kept my mouth shut as I walked past, admiring his dedication and his solitude.

CameraCanon EOS 6D
Focal length28mm
Shutter speed1/640s

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: