I have a week of vacation from my university classes, although I still have to do some homework during it. So, I decided to go see a high school friend, A., who is studying abroad near Madrid, Spain. Since my cell phone doesn’t work and we forgot to exchange phone numbers (oh, minor details), I was glad that I landed in the right terminal and that exits were clearly marked “SALIDA” in giant letters on enormous yellow-painted signs. Charles de Gaulle airport should take note.
So, what’s with that picture, you’re wondering? Welcome to the internet and the latest fad, the “meme”. (Back when I still had a Facebook), I made the above Facebook status and five minutes later, one of my friends made me this meme (“MEEm”). Alrighty then.
The back story? I was walking around Madrid with my friend A. and a Spanish girl came up to me, asking me to take a photo. I nodded because I had no clue what to say or *how* to say it and then A. replied for me in Spanish (he also ended up taking the photo). I was then congratulated, because apparently she thought I was Spanish.
Other than that, I’m living on the third floor of the house for a week. I have my own tiny room across from G., an American girl and friend that A. knows from school. The roommates in the house include two Americans (A. and G.), two Spanish guys, a French girl and a Spanish girl. We are a 45-min to 1hr15 bus ride away from Madrid, but it is not that bad of a bus ride because the three of us are entertained by everybody else on the bus. Or disgusted, depending on the levels of hygiene. One time, we were serenaded in Brazilian Portuguese for the 45 minutes on the bus because a bunch of very peppy Brazilian girls just happened to be on the bus. And they were really good singers (thankfully)!
Since I got here on Thursday, A., G. and I have done a lot of walking in Madrid with A.’s many Italian friends (who are in the same program) and hung out at a Quebecoise’s apartment: she speaks French, English, Italian and Spanish. Her boyfriend is also Italian. Who did we hang out with? Well: at least six Italians, two Mexicans, some Spanish people and two Danish girls. In the space of four hours, in one tiny apartment, people spoke: English, Spanish, Italian, French and Quebecois-French. You know, your typical Friday night in Spain. I also learned what the Harlem Shake is, some sort of flash mob-type improvised dance (yes, we made an international video version of that. Yes, it is on Facebook and no, it is not inappropriate. It is ridiculous, though).
We also (A., G. and I) have been to a tapas bar with above-mentioned Italians, eaten pasta at one Italian girl’s apartment and had kebabs and felafel at a local restaurant. On Sunday, we went to the open-air market in Madrid and G. and I each bough a scarf, because you can never have too many. Especially in Europe.
A. and G. have classes during the day, but not on Wednesday, so it will be the “day of museums”: we’re going to the modern art museum just to see the famous painting “Guernica”; then on to the Museo de Prado to see everything else. It will be mostly Spanish paintings from the 1900s and earlier (Velázquez, Goya, etc). In other words, not modern art and I’m really lucky to get to see these paintings in person!
My favorite moment so far, on our way to lunch at 3PM (they eat late here in Spain), after the market on Sunday. (There’s apparently some sort of ledge that they actually sit on, but even in person it looks like they’re floating in mid-air)!
Hasta luego! (Hint: the Italians told me they say “Pasta uevo” very fast, and it apparently it sounds the same).