Roundabout. Rotonda. And when it´s in the city, glorieta. What a satisfying Spanish word. It´s got the soft g, it rolls, the penultimate syllable is stressed, it´s got the diminutive ending (not a gloria, a glori-eta). Glorieta. A much more attractive word than traffic circle. Yick.
In my neighbourhood, we´ve got a lot of glorietas, the closest being the Glorieta de Quevedo. You don´t have to look too far up to see Quevedo himself, who has been supervising the traffic from the center of the rotunda since 1902. This part of the city, today considered quite central, used to be on the outskirts of Madrid, on the road to France. I can´t get over how long that journey used to be. There also used to be a cemetery (nowhere in sight - ground space is a hot commodity in the metropolis).
|the dashing agustín querol.|
|quevedo. a hipster before his time.|
Quevedo, a biography to be memorized in my university days, has come alive for me. He lends his name to the glorieta, the metro station, and numerous cafés in the neighbourhood. I give him a nod as I pass by, and think, what a great name for some Spanish cheese...