A Travellerspoint blog

Late summer evenings

and stupid laptops...

semi-overcast 25 °C

Yes, even here it was a bit cloudy for two days, but now again one can sit in one of the innumerable cafes on the sidewalk and enjoy the the warm breeze of the night. I have also been to another
open-air concert which was a great laugh, because before the
first band actually began to play a terrible DJ was entertaining
the croud. And succedded... The Spaniards are just a bunch of
happy people and I was positively surprised when the group of
approx. 1000 people suddenly began to follow the DJ´s dancing
instructions: to the left, right, back, forward, hands up,
hands on the shoulder of person in front of you, jump up and
down, applause...This was serious aerobics in the early evening,
not to forget the alltime hits to those the leg was swung
("Macarena" is only one example)!
I´ve never experienced something like this in Germany, guess in that case the stereotype is partly true and the Germans are a bit more serious, or otherwise have to be tipsy to let loose.

Monday, began my language course and there are about 20 more
Germans in class. Have to stay undercover! I then spontaneously
made friends with a nice Norwegian girl, who is the second
oldest after me and the teacher. As expected, I am the oldest
student and the only one born in the 70's. People were quite
surprised when I revealed my true age (thanks to my parents for
the great genes ;)! In the course we´re are repeating quite a lot
of grammar, but the teacher is a nice chap who always forgets to
turn of his mobile and then receives a phonecall at least once
during class...
In about an hour I´m going to move to my new flat, can´t wait!
It´s really great that I get along with my new flatmates so
well and I´m really looking forward to make myself at home.

Apart from that, only one annoying thing happened. Guess I
caught a virus and now my laptop isn´t working any longer. Hope
to get it fixed soon and wish me luck that I can recover my
pictures and music. If I´ve lost them that would really be a pity!

Posted by steff 06:04 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Language exams and TP encounters

semi-overcast 25 °C

Another couple of days in Madrid have gone by and I already know my time in this fabulous city will fly by way too fast! Therefore, I’m trying to enjoy every minute of my stay. Wednesday was the day of the exam, it went alright and I’ve meanwhile been informed that I’m starting an intermediate level class on Monday. Class will be weekdays from 10-1 and as Uni courses won’t start till October, I have another 3 weeks to get to know the city better.
I should really start looking for a job, too. I was thinking about maybe giving German or English classes, but working in a bar is probably great fun as well.
I also went to the movies for the first time this week. They actually have guys (wearing bow ties!) in the cinema to get you to your seat. The movie was a bit tough, it dealt about the life of prostitutes in Spain and I suprisingly understood it well (definitely enough to like it!). Afterwards we went for a small beer (they call it caña) in one of the numerous bars. What I really like about here is that you always get little plates of something (olives, peanuts, fries, etc.) to go with your drink without having to pay for it. I also approve of the Spaniards eating habits, it seems like their taking their time to eat a bit of this and eat a bit of that instead of having one big plate with a pile of food in 10 minutes. Eating for me is something which needs to be celebrated, just like meeting other TP members. I met Yolanda (yolandac) on Thursday night and we went barhopping for 3 hours. We spent a great time and as she has moved to Madrid recently, I’m sure we are going to see each other more often.
Yolanda & Steff.jpg
And last night Ev (Samsara), her brother Brian, myself and later my spanish friend Eva were checking out several bars around the surburb of La Latina. It is less touristy than bars close to the tourists spots and we also got to taste some very delicious Basque Wine (thanks to Yolanda’s recommendation). Anyway, meeting Ev and her brother was a great laugh (it´s certainly a pity we can`t make it to Montréal), but we are definitely planning to meet up again in the future. Our pathes probably cross in the Southern Hemisphere, should arrange a TP meeting there ;).Ev & Steff.jpg

Apart from all the partying (really I was forced too…) I got to stroll around the city yesterday and took a couple of pictures of sights and other interesting spots.

Posted by steff 10:39 Archived in Spain Comments (4)

Madrid rocks!

The Spanish at 2 a.m.

sunny 27 °C

It´s almost been a week since I´ve been here in Madrid and I never expected my first days in Spain to be that great. I have not only met tons of lovely people mainly through my tutor Eva at the arts history department, but also experienced real Madrid nightlife on Saturday. Initially, we only met for “one” and then partied until 6 a.m. in the morning. The amount of cool bars (where you can even sit otside), pubs and clubs in this city is stunning. I always thought Berlin was great for nightlife, but Madrid seems to have even more going on. What I still have to get used to is that the Spanish have all their meals way later than we in Germany. Lunch is usually not before 2.30 p.m. and dinner is around 10 p.m. I can approve the siesta from 2 to 5 in the afternoon though ;)

Sunday I took some time to walk around and get to know the city better. I remembered places I´ve visited last year (had a déja-vu here and there) and it was fantastic to stroll around the different suburbs in the sunshine, knowing that I´m no more a tourist, but actually a citizen of Madrid.
Sunday was also special in the way that I have found my future shared flat and had dinner with my new flatmates. From the minute I entered the door and met Nuria (a girl from Barcelona) and Patxi (a guy from the Basque country) I felt at home and I was totally happy when they told me I could move in. After having seen quite a couple of terrible places not to mention people who where renting out I was so delighted I encountered them. From the 20th of this month I will be living in an orange coloured room 10 walking minutes away from the Prado and 15 minutes to the city centre. How cool is that?!?
Nuria and Patxi also took me to an Open Air concert of different Spanish bands last night. It took place a bit outside of the city on a soccer field and I was truly surprised by the large amount of people out and about at 2 a.m. on a Monday night. Not to mention the noise, but the neighbours didn´t seem to be bothered either. The concert was great and I got to experience some Spanish Rock. Living la vida loca!
In the coming days I have to sort out what courses to take at uni. Uni here is a bit chaotic, but fun. Students can buy and drink beer in the cafeteria and everything is more laid back than at home. I mean where else can you go for a beer between two classes?
Tomorrow I will have a Spanish language exam to evaluate my level of fluency and I will also hopefully meet up with Ev and Yolanda from TP this week. Looking forward to that,too!

Posted by steff 14:35 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

On finding a room in a shared flat

Back in a great city

sunny 33 °C

Finally,I have arrived in Madrid yesterday. It all started with me waiting in line at the check in, knowing that I had way to much luggage for the 20 kg allowance. So, I spontaneously asked the nice couple in front of me as they only had a small backpack whether they would check in some of mine. And the lady did which saved me a great amount of money!!! To be exact I had 43 kilos, but to my excuse it wasn't easy to pack my life in two pieces of luggage... With a two hour delay we arrived in Madrid and I was picked up by a french guy who only a friend of mine knew. It was kind of funny and exciting to meet a complete stranger (we only had emailed before), but he turned out to be a really nice and friendly bloke. Poor him, on the way to town his brandnew videocamera was stolen on the metro. I still got all my stuff, but it was quite an extraordinary start at the police station to report his loss. Take extra care of your valuables on the metro in Madrid!!!
Later we went to the shared flat he has rented from September on and as he is returning to France tommorow until the middle of September I can luckily stay in his room until then. In the meantime I have to find my own room though which proves to be very difficult in this city. I've had a look around today, but rooms are tiny or haven't even got a window and above all are really expensive. Hopefully, I will have better luck in the coming days. Above all I already went out to a nice bar with other students last night and I absolutely love to be back in this "crazy" city!!!

Posted by steff 10:21 Archived in Spain Tagged lodging Comments (0)

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