I’ve gotten to the point where I’m so comfortable being here and so accustomed to my classes that the weeks are going by so fast. Monday comes and in the blink of an eye its Friday already and time to get ready for tapas and shows. I’ve gotten into a comfortable grove and somehow feel like I’ve been living here for years. Though I’m glad everything has been smooth sailing for the past couple of weeks, I don’t like that I’ve been getting into a routine because I’m not here for routine and normalcy! I want to keep the spontaneity and excitement alive and experience as many things as possible. It’s a balancing act between continuing to be a “tourist” and becoming an actual local. Most locals, my cousin for example, is never out sightseeing and tends to stick to a common group of friends, the same bars and clubs, the same roads, etc. etc. Little by little I’m finding that I too am losing a bit of my momentum and becoming slightly complacent. I’ll think one day, for example, I should go to the Prado or the Reina Sofia, because I still haven’t gone… ah, well I’m here for a year I have time. Or, I should go visit Toledo, it’s only a 30 minute train ride… ah, well I’m here for a year, I have time. I see that the international students that are only here for a semester are taking advantage of their time much better than I am. But sometimes the overwhelming amount of events and activities going on in Madrid can be, well… overwhelming!
I did do something last night though, that was both something every tourist should do and something that locals do as well: I went to see a futbol game!
It was so amazing! I love watching futbol (Sorry I refuse to call it soccer), but even for those who don’t it is definitely an experience worth having. I went with a group of friends for only 12 euro each to see Real Madrid (0ne of the best teams in the world!) versus Real Murcia. Real Madrid won 5-1, of course 😉 With players like Christiano Renaldo and Iker Casillas how could they possibly lose?
I sat in between my Spanish friend Luis and an older Spanish man, both of who were constantly shouting and chanting in cohesion with the thousands of Real Madrid fans in the stadium. It was such a rush to be in the midst of such a passionate atmosphere. Futbol is such an essential part of the Spanish culture.
My one regret of the night is that I brought my camera without my memory card, so I couldn’t take the close up shots of Renaldo and Casillas I had planned. I did however manage to take some pictures on my cellphone:
More excitement in Madrid: The MTV Awards were hosted here this past Sunday so there were free outdoor concerts all weekend long! I went on Sunday night after eating with my family and caught Linkin Park at Puerta de Alcala. Katy Perry played before them, but unfortunately I missed her.
Here’s a video I took of Linkin Park playing In the End: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqKYUiKxpSM
Getting back to Getafe on the metro was an adventure with all those people!
The weekend before that was Halloween weekend, and much to my surprise, Spain actually celebrates Halloween! It has started to get popular here within the last ten years or so. On the Friday before, I saw a bunch of little kids all dressed up like witches and vampires and monsters on their way to school. I ended up spending Halloween night with my two cousins whom I never in a million years would have guessed I would be celebrating Halloween with. We went to a bar named “Any Trouble” near where they live. I went as a 1920s Charleston girl vampire, and my cousins went as a fallen angel and a crashed pilot (ironically he is studying now to be a pilot).
Anyway, here are some random pictures I took while walking around the city:
These were taken on Calle de las Huertas. This street has a lot of nice bars and place to get tapas. It was pretty dead when I went because it was a Monday around 8pm, but I saw a Vegetarian Buffet and a Karoeke bar and Jazz Bar I think I’m going to go back to see. Calle de las Huertas was really nice too because phrases from famous Spanish authors were printed on the actual street.
This week and next week is the Jazz Festival in Madrid and I am very very excited!!!!
Unfortunately, last night when I was at the futbal game I missed Christian Scott and Kenny Garrett playing at Teatro Fernán Gómez, but I did get a ticket to see Esperanza Spalding on Wednesday of next week. I can’t wait!!!