Madrid. Summer. Football world cup. Time. Food. People. All of these and many other factors add up to create very special environment which may possibly result in unexpected and exciting experience. Particular experiences will be different for each one of us but overall experiences will be quite similar. This article will tell story of my very first day in Madrid (actually only like 11 hours).
When I arrived, my friend whom I met on Erasmus project in Greece last year, picked me up at the airport. It was even more surprising because it was his idea. Although he was texting and calling while driving he drove more confidently than most of my friends. As soon as we came to his flat, everyone was more than welcoming and willing to speak to me. Not really in English, more in nonverbal language of smiles and pointing on things. We did not stay long – as soon as I dropped off my luggage we went downstairs to their ‘local’. It’s name was long and difficult to pronounce but everyone called it Carlos’ after the owner.
It was just lunch time and I let my host to choose lunch for both. Some may say it was mistake. I didn’t understand the order so I kept waiting until we got pigs’ ears on first massive plate, then fried greasy skin on second and croquettes made from fatty ham on third one and ‘luckily’ spicy potatoes on fourth one – all to eat together. If I said that I expected something like that I would lie. Nevertheless, I had tried all of it and the spicy potatoes were good, except for the fact that they were spicy. Usually I consider myself to be one of those rare odd people who eat basically everything (I confess except for liver), I was proved wrong as never before. It does not mean that all Spain is like this because later on I saw a lot of food that I saw before, at least once. I guess I was just lucky. I thanked my friend and emphasised that I will pay for this great lunch as he is going to provide me with his room and host me for two more days. He did not let me.
We decided to go upstairs to pick up his flatmate and that we will go together to some beer festival. Some of us complained about being too full to take stairs to their second floor while others did not. The flatmate was very excited when we started about the Beer festival. I did not want to look like that I am trying to advice Spanish how it works in Spain but I still mentioned that it is nearly 7pm and it is Sunday so isn’t it already closed? They laughed at me saying “Everything is late in Spain” or “It is barely starting by now” and so we went. It took us 20 minutes to get there and another 15 to park. When we arrived, there were two young girls about 15 years old trying to get some shoe down off a tranche of some tree and a security guy. It was nearly 8pm when we announced him that we just arrived to the Beer festival. He started to smile (My friends probably thought that he is smiling that we came so late and that it starts at like 2am) but the opposite was true. The festival finished by half past 5. My friends looked very confused, I can still remember that. When we were approaching our car the girls still hadn’t got the shoe off the tree. Before we left our parking spot there was already another car parked.
We did get like 4 Mahou beers (is there even another brand in Spain?) at Carlos’ when we got back and went to bed. I felt like if I was in Spain for at least 5 days by then. I realized that there is much more into Madrid then I previously thought and I am looking forward to upcoming ‘Madrid days’!!!
David, Intern, 06/18