Madrid, you make a girl want to speak Spanish

Hola world! It has been 2 weeks since I wrote my (somewhat dramatic) pre-departure blog post, marking my 12th day in Madrid, Spain (I basically spent 2 days flying) and let me tell you this city is beyond anything a textbook and a couple travel guides could have prepared me for.

I've been meaning to get to this blog post but lets just say the first 12 days in a foreign country is a whirlwind of emotions and experiences (in a good way of course). In between getting used to living and breathing the Spanish culture every single day and accepting the fact that Spaniards speak ridiculously fast (and probably will not slow down for you), it is somewhat hard to believe that I have only been here for 12 days. Honestly, it seriously feels like it has been way longer than that, but hey living in the country of your dreams kinda does that to you!

So instead of giving you a day by day update, here are 12 things I have learned in my 12 days in Madrid:

  • People here stare A LOT. They will not even do it discreetly, they just flat out stare at you. They do not stare quickly either, they stare for awhile whether it is to eye down what you are wearing or just to look. Coming from a culture where staring is considered rude, this is probably one of the things that will take a little getting used to. I still don't know what to do when abuelita stares me down on the Metro. 
  • Water is NOT free. Seriously, I thought people were joking when they said water comes at a cost here and it was not until I asked for water and was later charged cuatro euros for one measly bottle of water that I finally believed it. Okay maybe not measly, water bottles here are made of glass, fancyIMG_3456My bottle of water in this picture cost as much as my whole meal...
  • But sangria is. Crazy? I know. Most places here give you free sangria with every meal and sometimes at some places all you have to do is order drinks and the tapas just come out, FOR FREE! IMG_3382Free sangria with my meal 
  • Food here is incredibly cheap. Coming from Vegas, food is already incredibly cheap (at most of the places I go to at least, college student budget!) so I did not think any place could beat the cheap prices that Vegas has until I arrived here. Anywhere I go in this city I can basically get a 3 course meal plus drinks (except water) for 9 euros. If I wanted to get a little fancy, maybe 10-11 euros. And let me tell you the food is absolutely amazing.IMG_3379Platos de día are very common hereIMG_3427AYCE Sushi for 9 euros (WHAT?!)
  • Groceries are even cheaper. I do not really shop for my own groceries back home but I definitely know it is not as cheap at it is here. Let me put it into perspective for you: 1 pound of chicken breast is 5 euros (and its A LOT), a piece of steak at the Supermercado is 2,20 euros (WHAT?!), a bottle of red wine (that I use to cook of course) is 0,90 euros and a bag of flour is 0,42 euros. I might just move here.IMG_3458Taking advantage of cheap groceries by making home cooked meals
  • There are hot coffee dispensers at my University. If you do not know me, I absolutely love coffee. In fact I need it to get through class especially if it is at 9 in the morning. Can you imagine how delighted I was to walk out of class and find a coffee dispenser?! For 0,60 euros I can get a Vanilla Latte. 0,60 euros?! Oh Madrid you keep giving me more and more reasons to want to live here.IMG_3552Literally a dream come true *insert heart eye emoji here*
  • The schedule here is extremely different. This is probably one of the hardest things that I had to learn to get used to. People don't start their day until about 9-10 and no one really eats breakfast, cafe con leche or jugo de Naranja will do. Honestly I haven't eaten breakfast since I got here. People don't usually eat lunch until 2-4 (yes I've eaten lunch at 4 and yes that's what they consider their typical lunch time). After lunch everyone goes home to take their siesta. Even kids in elementary school here go home for siesta and then come back for school. People usually siesta until 6, maybe 8 at the latest and then wake up and get ready for the night. Most people don't eat dinner here until about 10, 11:30 at the latest (again, had to learn this the hard way). The young people don't start their night till at least midnight and most times they don't get home till 6 am and this is pretty normal in Madrid. Even for a girl that comes from a city that never sleeps this is still a world of difference. Thank goodness for siesta time thoughIMG_3529Getting our Citylife Madrid CardsIMG_3397
  • If you use too much electricity at once, your power will turn off. Spaniards are extremely energy conscious (and yes my power did go off). So if you ever try to use the oven, toaster and dishwasher all at once just be prepared for a power outage.
  • Lined notebooks DO NOT exist. When I finally got around to the study part of study abroad and went searching for school supplies, I had such a hard time finding a notebook (a lined one like the ones we have in America). All I could find was graph paper notebooks. I finally asked the worker at the librería and found out that what I think of as "graph paper" notebook is all they have. IMG_3517First day of school with the funniest guy ever
  • The architecture here is phenomenal. This is one of the things I definitely love the most about Madrid. The architecture here is straight out of a story book. Every building and every street is so picturesque, my IG feed thanks you Madrid.IMG_3354Most of the buildings on major streets look like this 
  • If not they look like this 

  • There is a trash can on every corner. Literally everywhere I go I can find a trash can like this. There is one on every corner and sometimes in the middle of a block. The funny thing is the Spaniards think their country is very dirty, but honestly it is cleaner than most streets in America.IMG_3660One of the trash cans right by my apartment
  • People here take their time. All the time. For someone that runs on a schedule and is always dashing off from one appointment to the next, this is perhaps one of the harder things to get used to. People here spend at least 2 hours at lunch. They like to take their time, catch up, tell their life story maybe, and just enjoy their meal. Spaniards are very social people and live very relaxed lives, America you should take some notes.  FullSizeRenderIMG_3601Taking my time and enjoying the fact that this is basically my backyard 

    Hasta Luego, 33707473534400090715