For the past one week,
– I have been staying with a Spanish family in their grand house in Madrid. My host mother is the ‘cool mom’, who lives with her two daughters. She makes delicious food, feeds me all the time (like all other moms in the world), and bought me a present for ‘Cabalgata de Reyes’. It’s a tradition in Spain that they give one another presents after 12 days of Christmas to commemorate ‘the three wise men’, who brought baby Jesus presents 12 days after he was born. She also skyped with my mother to let how know that my mother has an awesome daughter. 😀
– I have been tasting the deliciousness that’s authentic Spanish food: tapas, paella, arancinis, tortillas de patatas (Seriously, they eat potatos with everything! How they are not fat is beyond me!).
– I have been taking the Madrid metros everywhere. I am in looooveeee with the metro here! You just need a map and have NO way of getting lost! The metro connects every corner of the city and I have an unlimited monthly pass to freely fly around. 🙂 I even take the metro to my school, which is a pretty different experience for me. Cause normally at MIT, I’d wake up literally 10 minutes before my first class and run. Here I wake up when it’s still kinda dark, take proper breakfast, wait at the metro station, and listen to the street musicians play ‘la guitarra’ and other instruments. Here I am completing the level 2 of Spanish. So far my favorite Spanish phrase is ‘Mi caballero de armadura brillante’, which means ‘My knight in shining armor’ haha.
– I have been practicing my baby talk in Spanish with hipsters that are the Madeleños. Seriously! ALL of them are good-looking, ALL of them are well-dressed, ALL of them smell good, ALL of them are super super friendly! Yesterday my friend and I were looking for the way to an open market. We asked this elderly couple for directions and ended up chatting with them for fifteen minutes while they walked us all the way to the market. As it turned out, they visited New York and San Francisco several times and loved both places.
– And I have been enjoying the exotic beauty that is Europe.
I have always wanted to take a month long vacation, travel through a few European countries by Eurail, and live my DDLJ dream- well minus the whole ‘Raj fiasco’. This visit is only intensifying this wish. Some day, some day, insha Allah. 😀
Last weekend almost all of us from MIT took a bus to Segovia, a small, pretty, and touristic town near Madrid. And guess what awaited us there?
THE CASTLE THAT INSPIRED DISNEY’S SLEEPING BEAUTY!
And as expected, the castle was so so so gorgeous. Seriously, I don’t know how I’d keep my sanity if I were a Princess and lived in a castle like that. The ceiling of every room had different, gorgeous patterns of gold. In the end, we climbed up 152 stairs to the top of the castle-tower and had a great great view of the whole town. After an hour of ‘If-I-Was-A-Princess’ fantasies, we also saw the cathedral in Segovia and the all-too-famous Roman aqueduct. The day trip ended with a scrumptious cup of ‘chocolate caliente’.
Yeah, so this is pretty much what I have been doing since I left my favorite campus on a cold January morning- marveling at the Español beauty and slowly picking up their language. Next weekend, we are planning to visit a few other towns close to Madrid. Excited!