Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Te extraño, Madrid

Hello from Nashville!

Sorry I have been MIA! Life has been a whirlwind since I've been back in the U.S. of A.

First week back was me trying adjust to the time difference while attending a wedding and going on a camping trip only two days after being back from Spain.

The following week, I started my internship, I was helping out with my church's VBS, and then that Saturday, my grandfather passed away. That day felt like a week and that week felt like a month. Since then, I've been either working or with my relatives who flew in for the funeral.

So, long story short, a mix between procrastination, not knowing how to write about Madrid in Nashville, and a hectic life has delayed my updates on the final stretch of my semester abroad.

It's been almost a month since I've been home, and I wanted to share a couple of things I miss and a couple of things I don't miss. :)

Things I Miss:

  • Madrid Metro. OH goodness, how I miss the metro. Here in Nashville, you can't get anywhere without a car, and it seriously sucks when there is traffic, when you don't want to drive, when you're sleepy, when you don't have a car, when you don't want to burn fossil fuels. ASDLFJAWEROJADFLK <--That is how much I miss having a metro stop 3 minutes from my house that would take me ANYWHERE I wanted to. 
  • My senora. Sure Chelo and I  had our moments, but I do miss her. Speaking of which, I should write to her. :)
  • Spanish. Believe it or not folks, I miss communicating (or at least feebly trying to communicate) with others in Spanish. I don't know if it is because it gave me a sense of self-worth, or what, but I miss it. And I'm afraid I'm already losing it! AHH!
  • The culture. Let me elaborate. I miss being able to walk around the city and then just pick somewhere and go in and grab a coffee with a friend (or beer for some others.) It didn't matter what the name of the restaurant was because you know they'll have coffee, beer, and wine. I miss meeting up with friends at Sol and being like, "so, what next?" And speaking of which...
  • My friends! I miss all the friends I made while I was Spain.  I miss seeing them during on Tuesday nights for college worship, seeing them at Kilometro Cero, meeting up with them for tapas, for futbol games, etc. 
  • My dinky pay-as-you-go phone. Okay, it's not the phone I miss, or having to recharge my phone every other week, but I miss the freedom I had from technology. Here in the States, I, along with 85%  of the population are glued to their little smart phone screens. But back in Spain, I could go on for days without needing to use my cell phone. (In fact, during my last week in Spain, I had NO money left on my phone and I didn't want to recharge it with so little time left, I just went around without it.) My friends and I would decide ahead of time via facebook or what have you where we would meet at what time, and then that'd be it. Ahh, how I miss that system. 
  • Cheap airlines. Flying within the US is so expensive. For instance, this weekend, I would really like to go to Philly, but the airplane tickets are ~500 dollars, so that trip is most definitely not happening.  The most expensive flight I bought was ~140 dollars. Roundtrip.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop here.

Things I Don't Miss:
  • The euro. Actually, I kind of liked the euro. But I didn't like the exchange rate. It was roughly $1.30 for 1 euro. Bleh.
  • My senora. I love her and I miss her, but it was never 100% comfortable. 
  • "China." Apparently, to Spaniards, all Asians are Chinese. I must have been called "china" at least a dozen times a week. 
  • Speaking in Spanish. I know I said I missed it, but at the same time I don't miss it. Not being able to speak the language kind of makes you feel helpless.
  • Dead-end emails. Here in America, it's generally understood that when, for example, a student emails a professor, the professor needs to respond relatively soon. Apparently that isn't the case in Madrid. Can get very aggravating. 
  • Paying for water. It's not always the case, but in general, restaurants don't like it (or at least it is rumored so) when you ask for tap water. So you have to pay for a bottle of water, which 1) is very small and 2) no free refills. 
  • Soda vs. wine? Soda is more expensive than wine and beer. WHAT? Enough said. 
  • Eggs. I think Spaniards like their eggs a little too much. Maybe it was just my host mom, but there would be days where I would be fed FIVE eggs in one day. I mean, I love my eggs, but I'm going to die young at that rate of egg consumption.
  • Dubbing. Gossip girl in Spanish dubbing=weird. But the weirdest of all? Modern Family dubbed in Spanish. Gloria speaks SPANISH. That completely takes away from her character. Plus, why do all dubbed voices sound like that??!
  • Watching game shows. It's no fun watching game shows you don't know the rules to. 
It's a love-hate thing. 

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