Let me start by saying I LOVE Spain, my last blog was by no means a way to bash this place. I may bitch about being hot and the food tasting bland at times but that's what makes this place different which is what I love most.

The Metro
Picture New York with less sparkle and lights and more historic buildings, that's the city of Madrid. And of course with millions of people in such a big city, everyone takes the Metro. Now, I'm sure the rest of you have some sort of experience with these speeding bullets but being from Stuttgart that's not the type of bullet I'm familiar with. The maze they gave us, I mean map, looks like a small child took all the crayons out of his Crayola box and scribbled what he probably thought was a dog but what looks like far too many lines in such a small canvas. Surprisingly, I love this maze. It's like a challenge to get from one Crayola crayon to the next and still arrive at your destination on time.
Short stories, novels, maybe even libraries could be written on the people of the metro. For example, on your way down through the station you'll be walking steadily beside someone and all of sudden they just start sprinting down the escalator, across the hall towards the train. So of course I start running too, partly because the first time I thought maybe the place was on fire or in Law and Order: SVU cases, a mass murderer was coming. Turns out there is no fire or murderer but the train is actually at the station. I have no idea yet how they are always right but I run with them anyway. On the train everyone is dead silent, and most of the time staring at us like we are aliens. I don't know if I missed it when I was buying my metro pass but it's almost as if the Terms and Conditions of using the train read in fine print:
You must completely agree to be as awkward as possible or else. 
It's so silent it makes me want to scream the most profane words at the top of my lungs (if you've ever seen 500 days of Summer or been in the Chi O chapter room you know exactly what I'm talking about). Hardly anyone on the train, if any at all, would understand the profanity anyway, they'd probably just look at me like they normally do, like I'm an oompa loompa or something.

Donde esta...?
Right after I arrive to my new home, Molly and I, whom I just met, have to go downtown Madrid via the crayon drawn metro map and meet our group. Thankfully our host Mom, Dama, comes with us to show us where the place is and how to use the Metro. She's telling stories as usual about her kids I'm sure but I can barely pick up on anything since she only speaks Spanish so I just laugh or smile whenever she does and whenever she stops for me to respond all I say is Si Si. She talks the entire way distracting me from everything around me because I'm trying so hard to not look completely stupid even though I wouldn't be surprised if she asks some absurd question like "Are you gay?" and I say yes to her amusement. She drops us off at the meeting that lasts far too long for my jetlagness. It's 9 pm and Molly and I are headed back or so we think. We survive the metro but once we get out of the stop we realize we have no idea how to get home. Dama talked the entire way there so how are we suppose to know?! Wait... maybe she told us in Spanish we just didn't understand it. Shit. Thankfully she gave us a card earlier with her address on it but now we have to figure out where this address is. We roam the streets looking for Calles de Emajadores until panic sets it. It's almost 10pm and it's getting dark. Calm Down. My dad bought a certain amount of data on my phone solely for this purpose, he knew I'd get lost! I type in the address acting all heroic like I saved the day from us getting kidnapped. Location Unknown. What?! Sorry Dad, guess I'll have to be using my data plan for Facebook and Twitter instead, darn. Sooooooo.. now what? Time to use our Spanglish. We walk up to anyone and everyone in the streets but again, they look at us like we're oompa loompas and keep walking. We try our best to say "Donde esta...?" which means "Where is" in English, then we point to the address on the card. Finally, one woman works with our amateurness  and tells us to go a few blocks to the right. Five or 6 blocks later in that direction there is no sign of our little red brick apartment. Ask again, "donde esta...?" and it's the oompa loompa face. Again and again we ask the same question until a couple women tell us it is from the direction we came from. Great. Practically running back and praying this is the right way we see our gate straight ahead right before the sun is completely gone. Thank God for "Donde esta."

Let me start by saying I LOVE Spain, my last blog was by no means a way to bash this place. I may bitch about being hot and the food tasting bland at times but that's what makes this place different which is what I love most.

The Metro
Picture New York with less sparkle and lights and more historic buildings, that's the city of Madrid. And of course with millions of people in such a big city, everyone takes the Metro. Now, I'm sure the rest of you have some sort of experience with these speeding bullets but being from Stuttgart that's not the type of bullet I'm familiar with. The maze they gave us, I mean map, looks like a small child took all the crayons out of his Crayola box and scribbled what he probably thought was a dog but what looks like far too many lines in such a small canvas. Surprisingly, I love this maze. It's like a challenge to get from one Crayola crayon to the next and still arrive at your destination on time.
Short stories, novels, maybe even libraries could be written on the people of the metro. For example, on your way down through the station you'll be walking steadily beside someone and all of sudden they just start sprinting down the escalator, across the hall towards the train. So of course I start running too, partly because the first time I thought maybe the place was on fire or in Law and Order: SVU cases, a mass murderer was coming. Turns out there is no fire or murderer but the train is actually at the station. I have no idea yet how they are always right but I run with them anyway. On the train everyone is dead silent, and most of the time staring at us like we are aliens. I don't know if I missed it when I was buying my metro pass but it's almost as if the Terms and Conditions of using the train read in fine print:
You must completely agree to be as awkward as possible or else. 
It's so silent it makes me want to scream the most profane words at the top of my lungs (if you've ever seen 500 days of Summer or been in the Chi O chapter room you know exactly what I'm talking about). Hardly anyone on the train, if any at all, would understand the profanity anyway, they'd probably just look at me like they normally do, like I'm an oompa loompa or something.

Donde esta...?
Right after I arrive to my new home, Molly and I, whom I just met, have to go downtown Madrid via the crayon drawn metro map and meet our group. Thankfully our host Mom, Dama, comes with us to show us where the place is and how to use the Metro. She's telling stories as usual about her kids I'm sure but I can barely pick up on anything since she only speaks Spanish so I just laugh or smile whenever she does and whenever she stops for me to respond all I say is Si Si. She talks the entire way distracting me from everything around me because I'm trying so hard to not look completely stupid even though I wouldn't be surprised if she asks some absurd question like "Are you gay?" and I say yes to her amusement. She drops us off at the meeting that lasts far too long for my jetlagness. It's 9 pm and Molly and I are headed back or so we think. We survive the metro but once we get out of the stop we realize we have no idea how to get home. Dama talked the entire way there so how are we suppose to know?! Wait... maybe she told us in Spanish we just didn't understand it. Shit. Thankfully she gave us a card earlier with her address on it but now we have to figure out where this address is. We roam the streets looking for Calles de Emajadores until panic sets it. It's almost 10pm and it's getting dark. Calm Down. My dad bought a certain amount of data on my phone solely for this purpose, he knew I'd get lost! I type in the address acting all heroic like I saved the day from us getting kidnapped. Location Unknown. What?! Sorry Dad, guess I'll have to be using my data plan for Facebook and Twitter instead, darn. Sooooooo.. now what? Time to use our Spanglish. We walk up to anyone and everyone in the streets but again, they look at us like we're oompa loompas and keep walking. We try our best to say "Donde esta...?" which means "Where is" in English, then we point to the address on the card. Finally, one woman works with our amateurness  and tells us to go a few blocks to the right. Five or 6 blocks later in that direction there is no sign of our little red brick apartment. Ask again, "donde esta...?" and it's the oompa loompa face. Again and again we ask the same question until a couple women tell us it is from the direction we came from. Great. Practically running back and praying this is the right way we see our gate straight ahead right before the sun is completely gone. Thank God for "Donde esta."