In any case today was dedicated to meeting up with people who were taking the same TEFL course with me and doing something fun/interesting in Madrid. The three of us ventured out to Museo Nacional Del Prado which is rated one of the top museums in Madrid. There we saw beautiful artwork and sculptures by the likes of Goya and Velazquez. The outside architecture was just as awe inspiring as well. This was probably the biggest museum I've ever been to as we spent a good hour and half in it only on the main floor which mean next time I go back I still have two more floors of that museum to discover.
The life of a boss
Lets talk food and drinks. I feel like I've wasted 20 years of my life not knowing what fresh food tastes like. Simple stuff like bread, ham, and cheese should not be exploding my taste buds in satisfying bliss like it has been. A lot of the day was spent discovering different forms of tapas and vino (wine).
Let me explain to you why American traditions suck. Tapas, for the unaware, is basically a wide variety of appetizers or snacks usually cooked in a Spanish cuisine type of style and 9 times out of of 10 this comes free with your alcoholic beverage. I know what you're thinking, free? What's free? See in American culture that would easily be $10 add on to your single over priced drink order. Now ask anyone who has been to Madrid before and they'll all tell you pretty much the same thing, "Make sure you try the different Tapas" "Tapas are the greatest thing ever" "Have I told you about the Tapas yet?" Yes, it does get incredibly annoying. Yes, they are all 100% correct. Yes, I'm probably gonna end up being one of those annoying people. No, I won't feel bad.
A section of a supermarket we were in where Coke, Fluff, and Pop Tarts were consider a'Taste of America'
Let me start by saying there are two things I generally didn't consume while in the US: 1. Coffee 2. Wine. Personally, I've lived my whole life around peoples annoying obsession with the caffeine addiction drink known as coffee. I've also never liked the fact that I needed to dump loads of sugar and creamer into a drink just to some what enjoy the taste. With that being said it's pretty average after your meal in Spain to end it with a cappuccino. Why? No clue. One of my many purposes in Madrid was to take myself out of my comfort zone and force myself to do and be different as I am trying to maximize what I get from this life abroad. So at the end of my lunch I had a cappuccino with one packet of sugar. It was delicious. Single handedly the very first cup of coffee I've drank that I actually walked away saying I enjoyed drinking it. Now this wasn't so good that I will start binge-syringe injecting myself with coffee two to three times a day like a lot of people I know but it definitely wont stop me from ordering it again while out with friends enjoying a meal and for those who know me well that's a pretty big deal. Now lets talk vino. Vino is one of those things that I drank not enjoying the taste because it got you tipsy/drunk (thanks college). It was never a drink I consumed with a meal or for real enjoyment purposes. The only types of vino I enjoyed were the desert types but to be honest I never felt like that counted. I couldn't tell you the different between the different types of red or white wine or which should be cold and which should be room temperature. All I knew is if I was at a bar it was either a beer or a mix drink in my hand. We stopped at three different places during the night for drinks and tapas. Each time ordering vino with our snacks. Each time I had vino blanco (white wine). Each time it was delicious. Similar to my cappuccino situation, there was a surprising shock of enjoyment when consuming it. Now, I would like to note that I'm in no way a bullshitter and that I call it 100% as I see it, I'm not saying that I'm enjoying these stuff more purely over the fact that I'm in Madrid and should be but more because it is honestly just the best I've had out of these categories so far. The vino smelled and tasted divine and for the first time multiple glasses of it didn't seem to ridiculous to me.
Now in the states if you wanted to enjoy a glass of wine while out to dinner it would cost you around $8 - $15 (depending on how nice the wine was) Well most of the places we went to a glass of wine ended up costing us 1.75 euros which for those of you who don't know, is $2.27 in USD. Do you understand how ridiculous that is? An average appetizer and glass of wine in America can easily squeeze you out $20 without even getting to your meal yet. As someone who is living abroad on a budget until I land a job I have to say that so far this is working out well for me.
Hablo poco espana (I speak little spanish) and my landlady who live in the apartment I live no hablo ingles (speaks no English). It is very difficult and nerve racking to hold a conversation with someone who has no idea what you're saying. Luckily with the google translate app (I highly highly recommend downloading this app), 4th grade spanish knowledge, and patience we have figured out a decent way to communicate with each other. As I came home late the night before, around 12:00am, I went with her to the kitchen as she cooked both of us an omelet. While she was cooking she would point to everything around the kitchen, including things inside the fridge, and tell me what the names were in Spanish which was super sweet of her. As challenging as it might be to live with someone who speak 0 english it will also be incredibly helpful in learning the language faster.
This is the gigantic omelet she made both of us filled with potato and onions. Muy muy delicioso!
This is Gran Via which is like the Time Square of Madrid. Lots of things to see and do!
Things to check out:
1. Museo Nacional del Prado
5. Gran Via