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:
Friday and Saturday I used as study days, finding some lively workplace cafés where I could be productive. Both were lovely and filled with locals as well as backpackers. I tried ‘La Bicicleta’ on Friday and really loved it’s atmosphere. The best part is that they let people bring their dogs into the café! As a dog lover that made it somewhat difficult to get work done. ;) Saturday I spent the morning at ‘La China Mandarina’ and had the best vegan lunch. After lunch on Friday I went off to the downtown area (if you can call it that in such a big city) to El Corte Ingles (huge department store/supermarket) for groceries and other necessities for the month. I was overjoyed to find a section devoted to food allergies with different subsections including dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, nut free, etc. My only regret is that I bought way more than fit in my one bag, so I had to buy a second bag and thus had to take the metro back to Chueca laoded down with groceries (not smart). I gotta get one of those little market carts everyone has here...
Jet lag is still hanging on. I try to go to bed around 10, yet end up staring at the cieling until 1. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the different bed, maybe it’s the adrenalin, maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. I’m not too tired during the day though, so I guess my body is just adjusting.
August is vacation time here, so everywhere I go I see signs alerting passerby that the business/cafe/shop/etc will be closed from Aug 1-Aug 31. I’m glad I’ve had this week to try out some of the restaurants and visit local shops and mercados, becuase I know it’s going to get (relatively) quiet around here come next week.
There have been several moments during my wandering (ie. completely lost) walks throughout the city and on the metro where I just am in awe of the fact that I’m here. My mind is just going ‘wtf who is this person who is walking down the street in Madrid, Spain looking like she knows where she’s going? Who’s the girl who wandered into a restaurant and ordered lunch completely in Spanish without any anxiety?’ I’ve had the same thoughts at different times during my times in Paraguay, Ecuador, France, and at the start of college. It’s during these times when I see my abilities over my insecurities; when I am grateful and present to everything, including my privilege and the people who helped me get to where I am. Of course, my insecurities come back, as I get into a routine and out of the ‘honeymoon’ phase, but it helps to remind myself once in a while that I am more than my anxiety and my insecurities. I think we’re all constantly learning that lesson in our own ways and change can sometimes help us take notice.
Anyway, I’ve a few more days until the 1st and then it’s back to studying for the next several weeks. I’m excited for this course-I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’d better bite my tongue though, who knows how it’ll go? ;) Until next month!
Nos vemos al fin de agosto!
An aspiring polyglot and globetrotter, an avid reader, and a lover of good food. :)