Wow, it’s only been a few days, but with all I’ve done it feels like I’ve been in Spain so much longer than a week! One thing keeping me alerted to how long it has actually been however, is the weather forecast. It’s so hot here and it’s only going to get worse! I’m enjoying myself, don’t get me wrong, but whythehelldidIcometoMadridinAugustthehottestmonthoftheyear? Yeah, bad planing for someone who hates the heat...but at least it’s not as humid as Iowa. ;)
Thursday I visited El Prado and La Reina Sofia. That was a lot of museum-ing for one day. Even though I was exhausted and my feet were on fire- it was worth it to be arms length from the amazing art that I’ve only read about. Between the two places, here are a few of my takeaways:
I made it to Madrid! My first few days have mainly involved getting settled and shaking off the jet lag from my trip. I have 5 days to get my bearings before my CELTA course starts on the 1st. My little room in an apartment in Chueca is wonderful and my host Loretta and the other tenants are all lovely. There are three other women living here at the moment, my Spanish host, a student from Mexico, and an artist from Argentina. We’ve already had some very interesting and enlightening conversations.
Jet lag has hit me hard, but I was able to sleep last night, probably partially because my body was so thankful for the cool air after a day of stifliing heat. Not surprisingly, I’ve gotten lost quite a bit in the short time I’ve been here. I ended up walking way past the metro stop to the point where I no longer needed the metro because I’d arrived at my destination. My feet definitely told me about that one last night. Thankfully after that hot and tiring day I figured out the metro on the way back. I wandered around this morning and got lost again, but at least I try to look like I know where I’m going even if I’m I have no clue. ;) This afternoon I feel much more in touch with my surroundings and have begun to get a feel for the neighborhood. Part of the reason for getting lost was (a) I continually left my map on my bed and (b) I had yet to buy a sim card, so my phone only worked on wifi. Needless to say I brought my map this afternoon and made getting a sim card my goal. Mission Successful! I now have a sim card with cell phone data which makes getting around a lot easier. ;) Thank the universe I have good walking shoes. Apart from the heat and fatigue, getting lost was actually kinda fun. I really got to see the local hangouts and markets as opposed to the heavy tourist joints. Plus, what’s not to love about people watching and wandering amongst fascinating architecture? I also found a little cafe, close to where I’m staying, where everything is gluten free and dairy free, so I’m in trouble now haha. ;)
This is my first time alone in a city this big, but I’m finding it’s not much different than other places I’ve explored on my own. I do consider it an acomplishment though to have figured out the metro system in less than 48 hours. Of course part of that success is credit to the course I took on Madrid a year ago at UIowa, where we not only studied Madrid’s history but also the extensive metro map and the different neighborhoods. ¡Gracias professora! :)
For the rest of this afternoon I plan on reading/prepping for CELTA and tomorrow I plan to visit el Mueseo del Prado and el Museo Reina Sofia. I love art museums, so even though I don’t have a lot of time to sight-see before my course starts, these two are on my must see list. :)
I can't believe I'm a week away from leaving for Spain! I've been in the process of moving, packing, and continuing my preparation course for CELTA. I've got all my absentee voting documents ready, my ID is up to date, and all the prescription meds are good to go-- so I think I'm finally (hopefully) ready!
My job doesn't start in Basque Country until October, so I've decided to go early and take a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults course to get certified to be an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. During the month of August this full-time intensive course in Madrid will take over my life completely, so I won't be doing any sightseeing.
While my upcoming year doesn't require this certification, I’ve decided to go this route so I can have a backup plan and also a way to travel/continue learning languages (while still having an income) after my year as an Auxiliar in Spain.
The preparation course and textbooks are full of all the things they never teach you in school as a native english speaker, (or maybe they do, but no one notices), so my head has been spinning.
Here’s to re-learning grammar and the English names of the grammatical tenses that I only know in French and Spanish! ;) Thank goodness there are no tenses in Mandarin. ;)
Wish me luck!
An aspiring polyglot and globetrotter, an avid reader, and a lover of good food. :)