I <3 Madrid

4 days in Madrid. I found my Spanish coming back little by little.
Monday morning, i was placed into B1 level morning lessons. 4 hours of grammar + conversation and then 1 hour culture class.( Intensive + ) after class, we will go explore the city. I always tell myself – when I go to a new place, I do not want to be a passing-by, but i want to get to know the place and culture and people. So when I get the question, “Why are you studying during break?” I now feel less afraid of the “bookworm” stereotype, but rather it is a great way to get to know a country and speaking in the language is definitely a huge plus. 🙂

the mind-blowing diversity in the classroom and in our discussions of culture norms etc still amaze me so much after a few days. In the same class, we have all different backgrounds – Brazil, Netherland, Switzerland, France, Taiwan, Mainland, England etc. My teachers told me I have an American accent when speaking Spanish – I was marveled by this conclusion because I thought I have a Chinese accent when speaking English. It is quite interesting to see how easily people can tell the Spanish accent.

Tuesday, we went to take the lift at Casa de Campo(a Madrid friend told me, it is like Central Park of NYC), but the difference is that Madrid has so much GREEN . trees, forests, parks seem to be everywhere. I was completely blown away in the air when my eyes were filled with green and when i see the architecture comes in different layers and heights. The scene was just unbelievable. At the same time, every afternoon the center of the city (the old Madrid part) is ALWAYS full of people. I can’t stop asking myself :”Do they actually have work to do?” People in Madrid seem like they are on vacation all the time.

We hiked down from the top of the lift and stopped at a balancing wood. Steven climbed first and then one by one, we all dared to get on it. It was such a fun photo session with 100+ creative photos taken. On the subway back, all of a sudden, tons of Tottenham fans flooded the metro and started to sing and dance. It really affected me how much football brings people together and how important it is in Europe. The whole Santiago Bereu Stadium stop was filled with people shoulder to shoulder. We watched the match in a bar near the school and 4-0 real madrid won. On the subway back, a guy with Real Madrid jersey nodded to me and said “Hola”.

Wednesday, I went to Supermarket and got a Movistar pay-as-you-go plan and passed through a supermarket. One of the best ways to learn everyday Spanish is to walk around a supermarket.

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 9am(slept through 730am alarm) and i understood no puedo entrar a la clase si detra de 15 minutos. I decided to go for a run and skip the first session instead. It was really fun to explore the streets with Lantin America names. I suspect it is like LIttle Latin America ….

Today after class, we first gathered around Callo and checked out some shops(Zara etc). But because I can do shopping with these brands in any city, i was intrigued to go into Palacio Real because I have heard how magnificent it is. seeing is believing. I now can tell you with 100% certainty how wonderful and unbelievable this palace was/is. At the door, student tik is 5 euro. The guard saw my England student card and gave me the free tik. Petra and I went inside and I was blown away by the detailed decoration, the vault paintings by Velazque and Giovani , the all porcelain room, the Rococco style, Goya’s portrait of Carlos III, etc etc. I can go on and on. Petra and I were in awe the whole hour when we were walking through room to room. How could Giovanni paint such detailed vault painting that are way up in the hair? How could miracle like this be real?

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