I hopped off the plane at LAX...uh, MAD, and, wow, what a blur it has been. My brain is on sensory overload with all the new information I’ve taken in in the last two weeks. I’m looking forward to feeling at home in Madrid, but in the meantime, I’m cherishing the ‘firsts’ I get to experience here. There is something exciting and powerful about experiencing a city and culture for the first time with all its nuances that quickly become mundane. So, here’s to cherishing this season of firsts.
First Shopping Experience
Shopping. I actually enjoy shopping...when I can find things. Luckily, the Euro fashion scene is meant for just that. On my first shopping trip, some friends and I went to Zara, a Euro classic. Turns out everyone was right when they said I didn’t need to bring many clothes and would buy clothes here. But, being my stubborn self, I brought too many clothes and am still going to buy things here. Weirdly enough, Zara was a truly uplifting experience. Now, I’m not one to equate my worth with the way I look, but I’m also not one to deny that wearing clothes that are cute can truly add joy to your day. Trying on all the European fashion was pure fun. It was so different and normally would be out of my comfort zone, but I think this is one area where I want to jump the boundaries and take off running. Shopping doesn’t break the bank either. So, catch me on the flipside with my flare jeans and white sneakers.
First Time Riding the Metro
Oh, the metro. Nothing makes me feel more like a local than walking into a metro station, swiping my card, and walking right through the gate. That first day I walked through the metro gates feeling like a 'cool kitten' and found my train easily. Between GoogleMaps and color coded platforms, it’s hard to miss. Jumping on the metro felt like I was jumping into a movie (most likely...definitely, a Hallmark classic), everyone just doing their own thing, minding their own business. So while I wait for my own Hallmark movie moment on the metro, I 10 out of 10 recommend Madrid transportation.
First Foreign Covid Test
Imagine standing in line at Disneyland for the most crowded ride. Without a FastPass it might take what, 2 hours? No big deal, it’s probably a beautiful day and your patience is rewarded with one of the best rides. My Covid test was nothing like that. I stood in line for 6 hours, yes, 6 hours. At the end of that 6 hours, I got to have a stick shoved up my nose to scratch my brain. Did I mention it was 50 degrees? Much different than my 5 minute drive through test in little old Grass Valley. There’s not much else to say other than it sucked, oh, and the police yelled at the whole line in Spanish, but, honestly, who knows what they were saying. Perks of the experience: I did get some good tortilla from a cafe nearby and met some pretty cool people, so, all’s well that ends well. Right?
First Day of Work
Ahh, working. What’s that? I’ve been on spring break for 6 months and can’t say that I’ve missed waking up early at all. But alas, the ‘Sunday Scaries’ (or in this case, ‘Wednesday Worries’) came around and suddenly October 1st arrived, the day I had been anticipating since sometime in the middle of March. I somehow managed to get up early, put some makeup on, and catch the metro on time (always an exciting feat). There was something different about this first day of work, though. Granted, it was a new school, a new age group, and there were new people to meet. But, what caught me off guard was that I really couldn’t communicate who I was or why I was at the school. I tried, believe me, I tried. But as soon as I stepped foot on the campus, my shy side came around and I barely managed to mumble out a few English words, let alone any comprehensible Spanish words. Thankfully, the rest of the day went much smoother and consisted of introducing myself to a million people (of which I remember about 5 names), finding a cute coffee shop, and hanging out with the other English teachers who seem to only have two classes a day. Yah, I think I can get used to this style of teaching.
First Date with a British Man
Jk, jk. Still waiting on this one.