Monday, July 2, 2012

La madrileña

Day 2 in Madrid and I already feel like a madrileña. I arrived yesterday morning after a long flight that was delayed for 2 hours before we left JFK. And we were in the plane the entire 2 hours waiting for the maintenance crew to fix a problem with the engine sensor. I kept thinking that "it's all part of the experience," one of my family's well-known mantras when we travel.

It sure has been an experience so far. My host mom, Concha, is so sweet. She immediately made me feel at home and fed me and made me take a three hour siesta. Apparently that's an everyday occurrence here in Madrid. I sure needed it, I felt like a zombie after only having slept three hours on the plane. Concha's apartment is small but I have a nice room and my own bathroom. There's also a pool in the courtyard that all the residents can use!
 (My room!)

The food was a bit of a shock though. I haven't eaten meat in about a year and the first thing my host mom made for me was steak and pasta with this weird blue cheese salad dressing on it and a huge iceberg lettuce salad (just to clarify the salad dressing was on the pasta, not on the salad). I'm not a huge fan of the food here, but again "it's all part of the experience," so I'll be ok.

I went to mass with Concha, another experience because I was trying to cross myself at all the right times, look like I knew all the words to the responses and stay awake all at once. I'm pretty sure I just stood out like a sore thumb. Especially because my host mom always sits in the front of the church. When the priest said the benediction he said something about saying a prayer for the futbol team because they were about to play in the Euro Cup. What a day to arrive in Madrid. After mass everyone rushed home to their televisions to watch the game. It was even more intense than the Super Bowl in the states. I watched with Concha as we ate dinner, which by the way, here dinner is at 9:30 pm. The streets were completely empty the entire game, but as soon as Spain won, 4-0, everyone went LOCO!

Today there was a party in the Plaza Cebeles near my school and the futbol team made an appearance! There was a concert and everyone dressed in their Spain jerseys and chanted as we waited for the team to arrive. Sadly I didn't get to see the actual team because my host mom needed me home for dinner... But just being there in that plaza with everyone so pumped to see their team win was phenomenal. (I'm already having a bit of trouble writing in English, it's taking me longer to formulate my thoughts because they're coming in Spanish first. This is a good sign).
 (My classmate and I at the rally)

My first class today was fun too. I already made a few friends and I'm looking forward to spending this month with my classmates. Only 4 or 5 of us are from the US and the rest are from France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Germany and a handful of other countries. It's so interesting to hear all of their accents in Spanish instead of English. I have class in the afternoon from 3:30 until 7 pm so I'll get to sleep in and run every morning. Buenas noches!

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