Day 1 in Madrid, i discovered that Madrid’s metro is very easy to maneuver than London’s, well i guess most places are easier to London hehe. My first host in Madrid draws comics and create animations and special effects for film and tv. he has a quaint little place filled with charlie chaplin and cartoons on his wall. i walked around the area, enjoying the sound of spanish being spoken all around me. random people says Hola to you here. went to market, bought myself a mega piece of jamon (i’m surprised the chinese didn’t discover this way of preserving and eating pork as well seeing how they love pork too) and stuff to cook for dinner. i made fried noodles for us then we out for my first drink in Madrid. my host couldn’t believe that i got drunk from one glass of wine, he was very amused and so was i, as we walked back.
Day 2, i met up with another couchsurfer in town who showed me around Madrid at night and to his favourite tapas bar. it was a little like a sushi bar where the ‘chef’ behind the bar will serve you whatever tapas he thinks you’d like, with the drink you order. but the bar is way more quirkier, decorated mostly by dried garlic, corns and pork legs. and i enjoyed pressing the cider pouring machine a lot! apparently the cider here must be poured (like teh tarik) from a distance, for the air to enrich it, then drink in a shot. the ‘chef’ that looks like an italian mafia boss was so amused by this asian girl that spoke bad spanish ‘un bassa del avar, por favor? one glass of water please?’, got drunk easily and laughed too much that he poured me free cider. and because the guy i went with know the ‘chef’ very well, we had lots of free delicious tapas too. it was a wonderful introduction to the spanish tapas drinking experience.
Day 3 in Madrid, i move to my second host place, a friend of my friend from Sussex University. I tagged along to dinner (dinner here is usually at 930pm, lunch is between 2 to 3pm) where we met up with her friends and we went to a german place for lots of sausages, the saurkraut there was not as sour as the ones i had in german for sure. from the conversations so far, i understand that most people have to continue with Masters after their bachelors here in Spain cos work are increasingly harder to get, so the more qualified, the higher chance you’ll have. my heart strings tugged, the spanish i’ve met have been so warm, friendly and generous, this would really suck for them. but one thing they have is a fighting spirit, ole!
Day 4 i met up with a fellow traveller from couchsurfing and we head off to Toledo, an hour from Madrid by bus. A very well preserved Medieval city/town,one must enter it by its fortress’s gates. the architects and engineers of that era have done it right as buildings then do seem to last way longer that what we have now. after Toledo, we went to El Escodarial to check out the famous Monastery there where it is also doubled as a palace for the queens and kings of the olden time. it is still a monastery today where altar boys learn, live till late teens. it was lovely that we met up with a local who knows the monastery so well that we entered it for free (after closing time at that!). we then of course have to have a drink with our guides and more jamon, chorizo et all!!
Day 5 I walked around Madrid city, checked out the modern market they have in town. at night, i met up with my host and we attended this language exchange meeting that turn out to be an awesome party! we drank, danced and laughed loads! we reached home after 4am. woah, haven’t partied this hard since college i think.
Day6 me and my host discovered how difficult it is to shop for fresh food to cook on Sunday. we walked all over, followed mythical directions on google map and finally ended up in city centre most upmarket supermarket. we bought the necessary ingredients and i cooked chicken rice with the help of my host and new friends. after dinner, we played a boardgame call Party Time. 🙂 boardgames are cool, must also get this one when i go home. again, i packed up and woke up early to catch a 7am bus to Granada. i met lots of people teaching English in Madrid that i’m starting to wonder if i could do the same and live here and learn Spanish…hmm