Six years ago this fall I transplanted myself to the city of Madrid to study abroad for the semester.  I have been re-posting some of my old blog entries from then.  Here is one from September 21, 2006 after my first week of classes.  Thinking back to those first few weeks in Madrid, I remember my brain hurting so much from having to think all the time–learning new words, constantly translating things in my head, trying to express myself in a foreign tongue (and usually failing), adjusting to a new culture, a new time schedule.  Everything there felt so different from home . . . but apparently this day had a bright spot of feeling more comfortable and adjusted. 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

El Metro y el bus

You know, when you’re able to navigate your way through a big city, there’s this feeling that just warms up your insides. Yesterday was an “I miss home” day, but today–that’s a different story. Actually, it started yesterday afternoon. I was just really proud of myself, cuz I took the metro and I really felt comfortable, like I knew what I was doing. Then today, I actually took some of the buses around UCM (the campus of Madrid’s university) today and found my way around. I had to go to the campus bookstore to buy a book for my Spanish Theatre class. The book wasn’t there, but I had a fun adventure seeing the campus on my own. Like, there were Spanish students studying, I talked to what I think was a professor (I was asking him for directions, and he chatted a bit), I saw some classes in session, I just got to see better the life of a Spanish student at UCM (Universidad Complutense Madrid). On the bus home, I met a guy from Germany who’s going to be studying in France this semester. He was asking me directions in Spanish, but I couldn’t answer him, so we spoke in English. Can you imagine? Four languages!! Incredible. I actually got stopped three times for directions today! It makes me feel like, I look like I know what I’m doing which is good, but then I open my mouth and they know I have no idea. But at least I won’t be mistaken for a lost tourist that’s an easy pick-pocket job. Anyways, just thought I’d share my excitement of becoming accustomed to living in this city; it’s a good feeling. And my first week of classes is out of the way. Yess. One down, lots to go. Hasta . . .