Arriba, Abajo, Al Centro, En Dentro is a popular toast around here. It translates to ‘up’ (raise your glasses), ‘down’ (lower ’em), ‘to the center’ (clink those copas together), and finally chug that down ‘inside’. At this time last week, I was in the Madrid airport waiting to begin the adventure that would be the next three months. It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole week, yet at the same time it is impossible to believe that it has only been one week. And in that week we’ve been up and down the streets of Madrid, have reunited in the center para divertirnos, and I’ve had un montón of emotions and musings en dentro.
Each day has been full, but in a different way from the States. Por ejemplo, yesterday we started the day off with café with our professor at the famous Mallorquina, a pastry shop at Puerta del Sol. I got milhojas (literally translates to 1000 sheets) that was good but demasiado rico–super super sweet. After café, we walked down to Gran Via before heading back to the market at San Miguel.
San Miguel’s market used to be a typical food market, but now it is a hipster-ized tapas-drinks-fancy pastries spot. Y’all, hipsters are not just contained to the U.S. If American hipsters are too cool for school, then you gotta be sure that in Madrid, where everyone is at a different level on the I-don’t-care/I’m-more-sophisticated scale altogether, that the hipsters go hard. But of course, they aren’t trying. That’s an essential element, right? Anywho, I love it.
I bought cheese and bread to take to the farmer’s market, where I’d been told you could pay a few euros to enter and get a wine glass to sample different area specialties. It’s the first Saturday of every month in the park casa del campo, and I felt like I had found my people. Later in the semester we have to do a research project on Spanish society, and (no shockers here) I think I might want to focus on some aspect of food or farming.
Dinner we tried out a nearby tapas place with some friends, went to cien montaditos (my suggestion–order more than one sandwich. Those things are tiny! But the alcohol is cheap and actually quite tasty), and then to ice cream. We’d planned on going to the olympics party, but since Madrid lost the bid (DEVASTATING) we just hung out and chatted before meeting up with the group to go to Kapital. Kapital is a SEVEN story discoteca that is famous in Madrid, but we’ll be going back another night because the cover charge was 20 euros. As several members of our group commented, unless they’re going to give me unlimited free drinks, a new dress, and a taxi ride home, there’s no way we’re paying that to get into a club.
It was a super full and fun day! I already am settling nicely into Madrid and am excited to make friends and feel a little more at home in my neighborhood.
Until next time,