I was talking with a fellow language assistant a few weeks ago about how sometimes I feel like I take for granted that I live in Madrid. She was saying how she has those moments sometimes and then she has to tell herself, “Shut up. You live in a European capital city.” And a few days ago, I came across this quote on tumblr:
That quote reminded me of why it is that I love Madrid so much. After all, Spain has been my dream country since I was in middle school. So here are some little things that I love about living in Spain (especially Madrid):
1. Public Transportation
I love the metro here so much. You can get pretty much anywhere you need to in the city in a decent amount of time. I also take the buses, which are wonderful for getting you to the outskirts of the city (i.e. like Las Rozas). And last, but certainly not least, there is the amazing train system. You can get anywhere you need to in Spain just using public transportation and that’s pretty damn awesome.
2. The “No Bullshit” Way of Speaking
I like that people here don’t beat around the bush and just bluntly tell you things. I tend to get directly to the point when I talk, so I appreciate that Spaniards are the same way. For many people, it comes off as being rude until you realize that it’s just the way they talk to each other. Along this same vein is that Spaniards have no qualms about telling you that they’re annoyed or angry with you. I prefer for someone to just tell me they have an issue with me rather than being passive aggressive (which, in my experience, seems to be how many Americans deal with conflict).
3. The Food
I love Spanish cuisine. Cocido madrileño, croquetas, paella…those are just some of my favorite things here. I have yet to have a bad Spanish meal. I can’t even imagine a bad Spanish meal…I don’t think they exist.
4. The Lifestyle
I find that Spaniards stress a lot less than Americans do. If I was running late for school or work back in the States, I was always in such a panic. I remember the first time I was late to work in Spain, I kept apologizing profusely to my coordinator and she just said, “No te preocupes. No pasa nada. Son cosas que pasan.” There’s no rush here and I love that. You don’t feel the pressure of the clock and it’s such a relief. I also like that a lunch here can take two hours because people like taking their time to eat and talk with their friends/coworkers. So different from the “gotta run” lifestyle in the States. Once you live here awhile, you realize why going out in Spain on the weekend means coming home at 6 a.m.
5. The Language
This may seem silly considering that I am Puerto Rican and speak Spanish…but I love how Spaniards speak. I love their accent and their vocabulary. I love that I’m immersed in the language every single day and hear it everywhere I go. Spanish (or castellano as they are accustomed to saying here) is such a beautiful language and to hear it in the country where it was born is kinda amazing.
6. The History
As Spaniards love to remind me, the US is a very young country and you just can’t find the things you can in Spain. The aqueduct and castle in Segovia are just two of the amazing, historical landmarks you can see in Spain. I was in such awe the entire time I was at the Alcázar in Segovia. It’s unreal to me that I was in a castle that was around in the 1100s! There are so many historic sites like that in Spain (and Europe in general) and I don’t think I will ever tire of visiting them.
Well, that’s all for now. There are so many more things I could list here, but I wanted to keep the list short and sweet. What are the things you love most about Spain?