Heat, Tapas and Loitering

When I created this blog, I thought I would post all the time. But then I realized, even though I’m talkative and love telling stories (or rambling, depending on who you ask), I didn’t like publishing blog posts. I have written nine posts in the past few months that I never published on this blog.


Today I arrived in Madrid, Spain for the semester. And I probably wouldn’t have posted a lot of what I’ll write this semester, except that my best friends are in New York and Florida and North Carolina and England, plus all the friends I made this summer came to know me as the rambler and without me back in New York, this will have to do to fill that void 😉

So, it hasn’t even been 24 hours but I can tell you a couple things about how this is gonna go and it’s kind of hilarious.

For one thing, my Spanish is not as good as I thought it was. Understanding this accent is wayyy more difficult than I thought it would be. And it’s a lot hotter than I thought it would be. So it’s kind of like Florida in that way. Lol…

My roommate and I are staying in a homestay with a family. There is Sandra, our “señora,” her husband, Jose, and their two children, Luis, 9, huge troublemaker, and Juan Carlos, 15, not a huge troublemaker. They are all very sweet though (except the 9-year-old, but that’s a different story). After we each arrived at the apartment and unpacked and napped, Sandra took us and her boys for a walk to see the neighborhood. Not only was it like a thousand degrees outside, but no one wears sunglasses and I can’t figure out why since there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

As we walked through this park and square (there’s a square/plaza on every block, basically), we passed a restaurant. All the restaurants have outdoor seating; it’s really nice in the shade or I’m sure when it’s not as hot as the sun. So we’re passing these outdoor tables when Sandra sees her friend, Monica, who is there with her daughter and niece and nephews (I couldn’t tell which was which and how anyone was related but that’s fine). There was no discussion of plans, and then we sat down at the table with them. Just like that. Finished off some chips (which they call tortillas, I think), paid that bill and walked some more, now with our gang of friends.

Nichelle (my roommate) and I were hungry so we debated saying something to this group until we couldn’t take it anymore. We stop at a tapas place (I’m starting to think all the restaurants are tapas places…) that actually exists all over the world (or at least in NYC, too), Cien Montaditos, and spend 20 minutes deciding tapas. The food was good, but the rest of the meal was uneventful until a man came within maybe 10 feet of the table, spit some food out or something, but projected it far enough to where it hit Sandra in the neck. Within 60 seconds, everyone had cleaned up and was ready to leave and then we did and just walked away and kept on our walk. I wasn’t sure what to think. No one said anything about it, and no one was surprised or baffled that we were enjoying ourselves a minute earlier and now we were power walking away because a crazy man spit his food at us. Maybe New York actually has made me hard…?

The rest of our walk was hot, but fine. We went into a grocery store and got some shampoo, which took me entirely too long to pick out because I couldn’t read any of the bottles, but I think I picked one that was fine, at least I hope.

Speaking of showering/being clean, there’s no air conditioning and there’s not enough wind for opening the window to help, so you’re basically just always sweaty or on the verge of being sweaty.

And now speaking of the window, we keep it open anyway because that’s what they do. And you can hear everything that happens on the street below. And there’s pretty much always someone walking down the road for most of the day and night. People just walk and sit and walk and sit and walk with drinks and sit. It’s such a weird concept because my first instinct was that all these people were getting into trouble, but literally just everyone does that until like 1-2 a.m. In the U.S., I feel like people get in trouble for loitering, and you definitely get in trouble for open alcohol containers, but people are just like “ah, no importa” about everything.

And now jetlag is kicking in. So buenos noches…





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