Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Madrid

Madrid, I've decided, is not very much like the rest of Spain. It just doesn't seem quite as...Spanish. Since I've been here, I've more often felt like I'm in a slightly-strange America than really in Spain.

Here are a few reasons why:
I live next to an outlet mall, meaning clothes are not (nearly as) ridiculously expensive. Said outlet mall is open on Sundays.
People wear flip-flops everywhere, and no one stares at them like they're from an alien planet.
I have seen people walking around with coffee. From Starbucks. Walking and drinking at the same time!
There are foreigners absolutely everywhere. Most of the other people I see around me seem to have Central/South American Spanish accents.
Everyone seems to be in a rush to get where they're going.
Most people out on the streets don't look like they're on their way to a fashion show.
I had ethnic (Indian) food the other day, and it was of excellent quality and actually kind of spicy.
The nearest grocery store doesn't close during siesta. 
The grocery store also has a sizable international section. (In addition to there being American-themed stores!)
Can we talk about the Peanut Butter Crunch there? YUM, but why does it have to cost €5 a box???
 I know this is just an affliction of big cities; in general they tend to seem more international than the rest of the country. Paris is the same, London, etc. There are lots of opportunities in big cities, and you can find basically everything you could possibly need. But I find myself longing for real Spain, where life isn't so rushed, there aren't as many chain stores, and people get dressed up to go out in the streets. Oh, and also where it isn't 30°C or above every single day.

Luckily, I'll be headed back to my lovely cool Galicia very very soon. Until then, I'm going to keep taking advantage of all Madrid has to offer.

Seeing the sights (or trying to anyway)

Oh, yeah. And I guess Madrid isn't SO different from the rest of Spain--I attempted to go to the Temple of Debod (an Egyptian temple given to Spain as a gift) the other day, and was thwarted. I'd checked the opening hours specifically before going, and got there right on time to find the scene below, AKA 3 security guards chilling out on the steps "guarding" the temple while not letting anyone inside. And that, my friends, seemed very Spanish to me.

1 comment: