I made my first venture into Eastern Europe. It was not warm. For most of the weekend the temperature stayed in the negatives, meaning that I spent most of my time wearing roughly 15 layers of clothing and whining about how I couldn’t feel my phalanges. Despite the freezing weather, and thanks to copious amounts of hot wine, my friend and I did manage to tough it out and explore a lot of the city. Budapest is divided in half by the Danube river, with the Buda side being older and more residential, and the Pest side being the more modern downtown area. Both sides are lovely, full of old beautiful buildings and lots of trees, I was very impressed.
Continue reading “Strip My Mind”
I spent this past weekend in the Canary Islands. Know nothing about them? Neither did I.Located off the northwestern coast of Africa, the islands have the same latitude as the Sahara, so they’re warm pretty much year-round. This makes them a popular get away for Europeans who want to escape the painful winter months, which was precisely my motivation as well. The weather in Madrid last week was just brutal, around 40 degrees with winds and rains, but after two friends and I made yet another early morning RyanAir commute we were pretty thrilled to be able to change into shorts and start enjoying the sunshine.
Continue reading “Sunshowers”
This past Sunday I had one of my favorite experiences in Madrid so far. I had a friend request proof that I’m actually here, telling me that I’m probably just writing from San Diego and stealing the pictures off other blogs to make all my law school friends jealous. So this time around I’ll actually put up some photos with me in them, prepare yourself!
Continue reading “At the Bottom of Everything”
Hello, my name is Alyssa, and I am a disease. Missing more school today because I am sick yet again, the worst. My immune system is apparently non-existent in Spain, and I’m so tired of it. Not really sure how to fix it, I had a big plan to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to give it a boost, but my amazing Auntie sent me a box of Christmas goodies all the way from Chico, CA, so I keep eating those instead, oops. Hopefully this will be my last cold for the rest of my time here…? Crossing my fingers.
Continue reading “Golden Years”
Bleh, I’ve been so sick the past two days. Fever, chills, aches, and those other fun things that come with having the flu. This means no eating my 12 grapes in Sol with the other madrileños, no dancing until dawn to ring in 2011… instead I was stuck inside, alone, with DVDs, Bebida Isotonica, and the equivalent of Spanish saltenes. I am more than just a little bitter about this.
Continue reading “Past In Present”
Waaah. Not being home at Christmas makes me feel a little bit like the grinch. Even though I’ve been extremely homesick these past few days, Madrid is not a bad place to be during the holidays. There are a ton of Christmas markets all over the city, and lights, and lots of madrileños wearing really dorky holiday hats, everything is very festive. Walking around the city you see lots of Santa’s on ladders climbing up people’s balconies, which makes a lot of sense since there are no chimneys here.
Continue reading “Blue Christmas”
Pictures from my lovely holiday in Toulouse, enjoy!
Continue reading “Mahgeetah”
Where is the time going? It’s already the weekend again? Let’s recap my last week, because it was a particularly good one, (although let me apologize in advance, I can already tell this entry is going to have too many words and not enough pictures): Friday night I somehow managed to stay out until 530. I’m actually starting to think that this is normal, and that coming home before the metros open at 6 is calling it an early one. On Saturday my American friends and I cooked a big belated Thanksgiving dinner for a group of our Spanish friends, and I think it was a hit. Some of them had never eaten turkey before, most of them had never heard of cranberry sauce, and they kept wanting to call the gravy “Thanksgiving salsa.” In keeping with tradition, we ate too much, and everyone lazed around afterward feeling fat and full and it was almost just like a Thanksgiving back home. Almost. To adapt to Spain we had to serve the food at 10, since the idea of eating at the normal earlyafternoon o’clock totally put everyone waaay too far outside of their comfort zone. Additionally, I had to run out last minute to buy a loaf of bread to serve with dinner, since apparently Spaniards are incapable of eating a meal without a piece of bread to accompany it (who knew?).
Continue reading “Be Somebody”
Still here! Finally I have my own little weekly routine. Monday through Thursday I arrive at my school bright and early, and I am consistently shocked to watch the parents chain smoking as they stand over their baby carriages waving goodbye to their children. I work with 3rd and 4th graders, and while they are little demons, they are somehow at the same time very endearing, even on days when I want to light myself on fire. We teach British English in school, and I nearly peed my pants the first time an 8 year old asked me if they could borrow a rubber (turns out in England this is a very normal way to say eraser).
Continue reading “Gone for Good”