Well, I made it! After arriving last Monday, I was shuttled to my flat in the center of the city in Madrid. The flat is huge! There are about 25 of us living here—half Spanish students and half American students. I am living in a room with one of the Spanish students, named Laura, who is absolutely the funniest and sweetest girl ever!! Basically all the Spaniards are hilarious and love hanging out with us Americans. I caught them the other night in my room listening to spice girls singing all the wrong American words but it was actually hilarious! They are so excited to take us out and show us around to all the great places where the Spanish college students go. In our flat, we have a huge living room and dining area where we eat breakfast and dinner together, family style. Lydia, our Spanish mom (and cook) lives in the flat with us and cooks our meals. She speaks not one word of English but she is the cutest person to have around. I couldn’t be happier with my roommates and the location of the residence. We are about a 30 minute metro commute to campus, but I think I have figured out the metro system pretty quickly here. I am getting used to walking around in 30 degree weather, but still cannot wait for spring time. The food here is not as good as I had hoped. Every meal is usually pork (or some other type of meat) with potatoes. They also don’t have lunch here until 2pm and then we don’t eat dinner until 9pm. All of us Americans end up getting hungry at our dinner time (6pm) and don’t usually eat anything until dinner is served. Also, it is casual to have dead animal limps (usually deer or pig) hanging on the wall or from the ceiling of the restaurant. The limps usually had a chunk of meat already carved out. We were at lunch the other day, and these old Spanish men came in for a drink at around noon when the bartender went to the kitchen and brought back a freshly slaughtered deer leg wrapped in serrand wrap. IT WAS SO GROSS! They keep the hooves on it and everything! This is something that I have to get used to. Anyways, so far I am in love—in love with the city, the culture, the people and my life.
Every blog, I will try to incorporate one thing that I have learned about either the language or culture. Well, being here only a week, I have learned so much. First, it stays dark outside till about 8:30 in the morning—something I had to get used to. Also, in the Spanish culture you kiss on each side of the cheek when you say hello or goodbye. The lisp in the Spanish language is pretty thick and when you talk without a lisp, people look at you funny. So, I have developed a lisp in certain Spanish words that need it. For example, thank you here is not gracias, it is grathias. Also, it is considered rude here to eat in your room, so basically we either go out to eat or starve until we eat dinner all together.
Thanks for reading and keeping up with my whereabouts. So far, I can see why this is the best decision I have made in my entire life. Keep following!!
Muchos besos y abrazos