09.01.2007 - 19.01.2007 13 °C
I am finally settled in to my new room and home here in Madrid. I live with Rosario Valentín Labarta at the Alonso Martinez metro stop, which it so happens is right at our doorstep. I live with two other girls, Ashlie from Creighton and Whitney from SLU. Whitney has been here a semester already and has been a great tour guide for us. Ashlie and I take the metro to school everyday. It takes about 30 minutes and I think I have finally gotten the hang of it. It is a very well designed system, clean and organized. My classes are scattered throughout the day, but there is plenty to do around the school. Ashlie and I have found a great little place to eat lunch that it seems no other students know about. I love the tortilla española which is like a quiche with egg and potato. The most common thing to eat here for lunch is known as a bocadilla. Basically, French bread with anything you would like inside, less condiments. I have found it difficult to be a vegetarian here. My bocadillas usually consist of cheese and bread. Mmmm… Rosario makes dinner every night promptly at 9:30, p.m. that is. They eat very late here. I tend to get extremely hungry during the day as there is a large gap between lunch and dinner. We found a market and bought some snacks. It’s quite a different world trying to find the brand you like here. It has been so exciting just walking around the city noticing all the different people here. Knee high boots are very popular here and everyone wears them outside there jeans. I found a pair myself for 22 Euro and couldn’t pass up that deal. January is a time for rebajas (sales) as Three Kings has just passed. Every store window mentions these rebajas. I haven’t been around the city too much yet because for the first four days I was here, I traveled to Andorra to go skiing in the Pyrenees. It was an 8-hour bus ride, but well worth the trip. There was hardly any snow, and the snow they had was man-made. Europe has had no snow all winter. We still had a blast though and skied three different mountains. The chair lift up was an experience in itself and I must say that seeing only rocks and ground is rather nerve-racking. Nothing compares to a day of skiing in the mountains of Colorado. I tried skiing the first day, and after my first run, I was done. I had forgotten why I had stopped skiing in the first place. The next two days were much better as I chose to snowboard. I did 10X the runs. Andorra is its own principality and speaks Catalonian, a language mixed with Castilian Spanish and French. There was duty free shopping so electronics and perfume were very popular there. We stayed at a hotel up the mountain called “El Bringue.” The food there was quite extravagant and they had dishes of duck, lamb, squid, etc. I stuck to the fish. The salads here come adorned with deli meats, so I am glad I asked for the vegetarian salad. The trip was a nice way to meet people here at SLU Madrid. I am adjusting well and enjoying the new approach to business studies. Everything here is so international and I am realizing that globalization is something we should pay more attention to. The students here are mostly from other European countries and know more about Europe and America than we do. I am taking International Business and International Accounting here and I can tell that I am going to come back with a very different perspective. My first assignment is to memorize the 27 countries in the European Union and the order in which they joined. I wish they taught that in schools back home. Saturday Ashlie and I are going to the outdoor market here. We’ll see what trinkets I will find there.