It has been almost a week since my last blog post and I have finally fallen into a routine here in Madrid. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have class at 10am, so I have to leave for the metro at 9am. First I have my language class, then I have my culture and conversation class, and then I have my language class again. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, I have class at 8:30am, but I get out earlier in the afternoons. After class, I ride the metro home to eat a late and much anticipated lunch with my family, and then I take a nap (I truly appreciate that naps are so acceptable here). I wake up around 7pm to do my homework, check my email, etc. We eat dinner around 10 or 10:30pm and after dinner I meet friends to go out. It is nice to have a schedule to follow.
Monday was my friend Heather's 20th birthday (Heather Scott, not Heather my roommate). We went out to celebrate at a place called the Wine Museum. It was very classy and a fun way to celebrate her birthday. On Tuesday, Heather, my roommate, and I explored the city and ventured down to El Parque del Buen Retiro.
El Parque del Buen Retiro is a huge park that was built in 1505. Heather and I almost got lost exploring this massive park, but we made it home safely. On Wednesday night, Sarah, Kait, and I took a free salsa lesson at a bar called Cibeles. Our instructor was Cuban and could move his hips faster than Shakira. I tried to keep up, but I don't know if I would have been able to do so even if the lesson was in English. I don't know very many dancing terms in espanol. We were matched with random partners and I successfully made a fool of myself in front of all of them. It was a fantastic night.
After the salsa lesson, we stopped for a drink at the oldest bar in Madrid. It is similar to and Irish Pub. At the pub, we met a group of Spanish chicos and it was one of my first experiences talking to Spaniards that were not my host family or people from school. I think I held my own and between my Spanish speaking abilities and their English speaking abilities, we were able to adequately communicate.
The boys were from the Canary Islands and were very nice. They offered to show us around Madrid Friday. Friday afternoon after we got out of class, our school took us to El Museo del Prado, the famous museum in Madrid.
We took a guided tour (In Spanish) of paintings by El Greko, Goya, and Velázquez. And that is all that we saw in a 2 hour tour. Three artists. The tour guide was a Chatty-Cathy, so I think that I'll have to go back on my own to see the rest of the hundreds of pieces housed there. After the museum, we stopped to get lunch at a spanish restaurant. It was rather uneventful, except for my new friend that I found in my paella.
It was a whole tiny crab. I had no idea how to eat it, so I just set it on the side of my plate and let it watch me eat. After lunch, I went home, took my daily siesta, and met my new friend Alston for dinner. We went to a cute Italian restaurant over-looking the Royal Palace. It was a beautiful view. Then Kait, Sarah and I met up with the Spaniards from Wednesday night to show us around Madrid. We didn't go to the bars until 2am and we stayed out until 5am. And it was "an early night". Oy. I'm not too exhausted today, but I need to nap to gear up for tonight. Tonight is La Noche en Blanco (The Night in White) which is a huge festival that happens once a year. Everything stays open all night, including theaters, museums, concert venues, stores, restaurants, bars, everything. And entrance to everything is free. It is going to be an eventful night. I'll write soon to tell you all about it.
Hope everything is good back home.Dos besos!