First Week in Madrid: COVID ATTACKS

Authored by:
Marcus Q.

Marcus Q.

Quick Recap: My original flight to Madrid on Sunday, January 10th was postponed a week later due to Storm Filomena. 

The farthest I've flown prior to this trip was from the west coast to the east coast. Let me tell you, I was not prepared for the entire 18 hours from the first to the final airport. I have never been so lost or stressed out in my life. I absolutely hated that experience and felt like I never wanted to get on a plane again. It's better to ask for help right away, so you can have peace of mind knowing you are moving along the airports correctly. 

Once landing in Madrid, I decided to get a taxi. The taxi service has a flat fee of 30 euros which is completely worth it when you are experiencing jetlag and just want to lay down and not have to think about anything. I was surprised to find out Spain and the U.S. drive on the same side of the road. The taxi driver was also listening to American music. The drive from the airport to the hotel in Atocha was a pretty long thirty minutes.

I believe I was the last of an odd amount of participants to check in to the hotel, so I received a room to myself. I felt so blessed because all I wanted to do was sleep, and had no energy to talk to anyone at all. So that's what I did, I just slept all day and all night so I could get over the jet lag. I ended up waking up at 2 am, but just tried to close my eyes and rest until it was time for breakfast. There's a bunch of breakfast choices, but I am vegan so I would eat toast with olive oil, either cereal or oatmeal with soy milk, fruit, orange juice and an americano. After I finished eating, I approached these two participants that were nearby to ask some questions. They were super helpful and friendly and gave me some nice advice on completing some of my errands.


Taking the advice I was given, I went to Vodafone for my phone service. Thankfully, one of the workers spoke English and was very helpful. I went with the 20 euros every 4 weeks with 25 GB of data. The internet was down, so I walked to the metro station to figure out how to purchase my first 10 trip metro card. (I would get my monthly abono later on.)

Atocha Station

As I finished getting my phone plan, another participant in the store started talking to me. Surprisingly, he was somebody I've been in contact with prior to arriving. Thankfully, he spoke Spanish so we went to Santander Bank together to set up our bank accounts. We ended up running into two other participants he had made friends with and we all spent the day together more or less. We met up again for outside dinner when we received THE EMAIL.

The email pretty much read there has been a Covid outbreak amongst several program participants at the hotel.  Whoever has visited or stayed at the hotel must self-isolate for ten days. None of us would be able to start work until February 1st now. 

So, I pretty much had one day to get some errands done, and socialize a bit. The rest has been self-isolating. I cannot wait to move into my flat, start teaching, and begin to live the life I've been waiting to live for so long. 

Covid keeps throwing curveballs. You never know what's going to happen next. I hope none of us have to deal with getting Covid again.


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