¡Hola! Finally a Friday off and I’m taking full advantage doing what makes me the happiest, which is of course spending time at a cafe. Taking it easy today. A quick life update: I’m in Madrid this semester! After over a year in New York, I was seeking a change – of weather, of pace, and most of all, of culture. I had always heard about tapas, paellas, siestas, fiestas, etc. What is life really like in Spain? I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to live in Madrid for a few months, exploring the city not only as a tourist but, over time, getting to know the city as a local and maybe picking up some Spanish slang along the way.
Time really flies. February is coming to an end, which means that I’ve been in Spain for exactly a month (how?!?!?!) Coming here, I had no idea what to expect especially since I didn’t know anyone in my study abroad program. But ultimately, that is what makes this experience so surreal. To step out of a sense of familiarity surrounded by family and friends and to adapt to a new country, I wake up every morning excited for what the day has in store. Every day is different and that spontaneity inevitably leads to new discoveries, new friends, and learning- about myself, Spanish culture and everything in between. Although the transition had (and still have) its challenges every now and then, overall it has been less of a culture shock than I had anticipated. Spaniards are some of the nicest people, and a lot of them are interested in where I come from and always down to talk. Just now actually, a waiter at the cafe asked where I was from. Nueva York, I said. Then, he told me that he wants to visit New York and started talking in English because he needs to practice!
Spain is everything I hoped for and more. I’ve definitely fallen in love with its warmth, simplicity, and tranquility. Its sangrías, menú del días, and art museums can’t be beaten. Given the political situation of the country, it’s amazing how the people are choosing to enjoy every day to the fullest. Being mindful of a new culture is so important, and I’m happy that I’m speaking Spanish whenever possible and slowly but surely adjusting to the eating schedule (typically, lunch at 2PM and dinner at 9PM) among other things. Well…by the time I go home, the idea of a 6PM dinner will probably sound very foreign. Just a heads up, friends.
I know I haven’t been updating the blog as I would like to since I arrived. In the past month, I really tried to adjust and take everything in without constantly taking pictures or being on social media. From now on though, I do hope to post on a regular basis so follow along as I relish the warmer weather, meet more Madrileños and ask for more sangría, por favor.