by Erin Elaine
I’ve been told by the locals here that fall and spring are very short in Madrid, and it usually goes very quickly from summer to winter, and from winter to summer. I can see what they mean! It’s been fall for about 2 weeks here, and I can tell winter is coming quickly. Within the span of a day the weather also changes quickly. This morning it was very cold. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt and a light scarf (very Spanish) and it was pretty cold. But by 2pm it was 70 degrees and sunny without a cloud in the sky. In Seattle I would want to be outside swimming right now. Maybe winter isn’t that close after all.
A lot of small and super-specific shops tend to congregate together here. There is a street near me with 4 stores within 3 blocks that sell nothing but watches. I’ve seen another street with multiple costume wig shops all together. Shoe stores and scarf stores also tend to congregate together. It’s odd and a bit amusing. Today I needed to buy a watch because for some reason there are no clocks in the classrooms. I went into one of those watch shops intending to buy a semi-masculine watch with a wide band and large face, but I ended up with this cute little bracelet-like watch for 5 euros. I just couldn’t resist it!
Today after school there was a faculty meeting for all of the bilingual teachers at my school. These meetings are pretty much always in English because I only speak a little Spanish. Today, before the meeting began, 2 of the teachers were having a conversation in Spanish. It kind of just morphed right into the faculty meeting, so they continued speaking in Spanish and other teachers joined in on the same topic. I was actually able to follow most of the 30 minute conversation between 4 people all in Spanish! It helped that they were talking about the same subject the entire time, without changing the subject, and most of the vocabulary happened to be words I knew. But it was great practice and when they paused about 15 minutes in to ask if I understood and I said I did, they seemed a bit impressed.
The fruit store a couple blocks from my apartment always has a window display of the freshest fruits and vegetables that they currently have. For the past few days they’ve had carved pumpkins displayed, which makes me so happy because it reminds me of home.
I love how versatile my balcony is. There are thin curtains, then wooden doors, then glass doors, then wooden blinds. I love how many combinations are possible. I can open the wooden blinds and close the curtains to let some soft light in. I can open the glass doors and close the wooden blinds to let in fresh air without too much light. I can close the glass doors and wooden doors to block out all sound and light at night. I can open the glass doors and close the curtains to let in a good breeze without letting my neighbors see inside. I can step right out into the balcony and enjoy a cup of tea or the sunset. I’m so happy about my balcony!
Last but not least, a video I took a couple weeks ago: