Sunday, March 28, 2010
Yesterday marked 5 months since arriving in Madrid. In some ways it feels longer and in others not that long. I'll never forget that long day(s) of travel over here and how full of hope and fear Kyle and I both were. We knew everything was going to be fine because we were together and really how bad can moving to a beautiful, temperate, culturally bustling European city be, but still we'd left behind a whole lot and Madrid was an unknown. I can now laugh about the apart-hotel we had to stay in for 10 long days. It was by I think most people's standards an undeniable dump located in the not so desirable area ironically enough called "Prosperidad" (Prosperity). In any case, 5 months later and I think we've really found our footing. We have a small circle of wonderful friends (most of whom are Spanish) that grows with every outing. Additionally, Brodie has finally settled into school and has developed several strong relationships with some other boys and girls and her level of Spanish continues to floor me. Just the other day at the park I overheard her discussing play with one of her classmates and in perfect Spanish she said, "Yo soy la princessa y tu eres la bruja, vale?" (I'm the princess and you're the witch, ok?) I almost died, I was laughing so hard. Incidentally, they finally conceded to both be princesses. Last week, though, I knew we were truly a part of our neighborhood community when not one BUT THREE merchants let me take things on IOU. There's a guy who sells socks and sunglasses on the street almost every day right outside our building. I spied a pair of goofy green sunglasses, but had no euros so he told me to take them and pay when I could. Later that day, I started a membership at the little video/dvd club across the street. Again, I had no cash (they didn't take credit cards) so he let me take two movies to be paid upon their return. These guys are great - they're an older couple and run this tiny little shop with a small, but very good selection of dvds. They don't have a computer and they write all their rentals out on a ledger by hand. Finally, my third IOU was at the bakery. Again, they only accept credit cards for purchases greater than 6 euros and I only wanted 2 croissants - she let me take them to pay later. The trust and generosity of our neighbors really makes me feel at home and I'm happy to report that with every day we grow to love Madrid more and more.
Posted by Maria Bergh