So, there’s so much to be said for my last two weeks that have not been recorded I blog form. I finished classes, found an apartment, went to Italy with a friend, and joined a volleyball team in Madrid. I ate a lovely amount of pasta and pizza, cooked my first meal in my apartment, bought groceries like normal people, and made a fantastic trip to Ikea to decorate my new room. Let me give you the key points:
Housing: Searching for an apartment in Madrid is the devil! When there is a large influx of English speakers in a city that speaks mostly Spanish and all the new “immigrant” young people looking for adventure, they all want the same apartments in the same places–enter huge problems! I emailed, called, attempted to view over 30 apartments before I landed a nice (albeit small without a patio) room close to my desired metro stop. My roommate is a lovely Spanish student at the University in town. She speaks zero English and has to let me in to the apartment at odd hours when my key fails to open the door. The water in the shower pools a little, my view of the city is amazing.
Spanish: just learn it. Make your life easier. Although Madrid has a ton of English speakers and people that speak basic English to help you out in a jam, just learn it.
Italian: ciao, gratzi, lasagna, pizza. The end of my knowledge of Italian and only the beginning of the problems I had communicating in Italy. Life lesson and my wish for the world–be nice to foreigners! We are all just doing the best we can! I am not trying to be rude by not knowing the language…learning languages is hard! BE NICE TO FOREIGN PEOPLE, THEY HAVE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS TOO.
Churches: A cathedral is the head of a diocese in Catholicism, basilica refers to the architectural structure. Good to know when visiting all the beautiful churches in Italy! Lauren (Mississippi teacher corps sincere friend currently teaching in turkey, but Italian travel partner) and I saw so many beautiful churches in Milan and Venice!
Where wine is cheaper than water: Italy! My kind of place!
Bittersweet Madrid truths: Oh, you think that place is open on Sunday? A lie. Go home. Oh, you expect google maps to work? A LIE. Buy a map. Or go home. Oh, you want to buy/do something between the hours of 2 and 5? A lie. Go home. Ha, you think internet is fast enough to FaceTime/Skype without delays or bad images? You get the picture.
And then here are some pictures from Lauren and my Italian (Milan and Venice for 5 days) adventure. Something I learned: Napoleon pizza…those ingredients written in Italian include anchovies…NOOOOOO.
P.S. There is so much more to be said but even I get bored reading long blog posts, so if you made it this far, I didn’t mention:
-Milan seems sort of like the Italian hood. You can’t explain it, you just know.
-I got yelled at by a very angry bus driver (in Italian) when I tried to take my bike on a bus. Whoops.
-Eating gelato in the streets of Venice after not giving homeless people money may be one of the rudest things I have ever done
-You do not wear dresses above the knee to visit churches in Italy. Even if they appear modest..check yourself before you wreck yourself. Learned the hard way. And then Lauren proceeded to call me a “loose American woman” for the rest of the trip.
-Any metro system can be figured out with determination and a willingness to get on several trains going the opposite direction
-I am addicted to wifi and damn it I don’t see what’s wrong with that.
-It costs almost $3 to send a postcard….so don’t expect one.
🙂 Ciao, Gratzi, Vale, Gracias! Entonces….