35 Things I’ll Miss About Madrid

35 things I’ll miss about Madrid, in no particular order:

1. Opening the shades of my room every morning to see tones of orange and pink across neighboring rooftops
2. My daily 2 pieces of toast with blackberry jam and cup of coffee
3. My host brothers playing fortnight truly todo el rato
4. Making fun of my host brothers for playing fortnight truly todo el rato
5. Hearing the man who sells castañas yell “castañas dulces!” every morning by the Bilbao metro
6. Being greeted by a warm “Hola!” every time I enter the program center
7. Daily cafe con leche with friends at our favorite spot
8. Discovering new ways to get home
9. Getting myself lost and finding my way back home
10. Smelling pastry shops from a block away
11. Seeing families “tomar algo” together no matter what the weather may be
12. Starting each week with a Monday morning class of all women
13. Shouting “hasta luego” literally every time I exit any place
14. The clean, reliable, clean, and did I mention clean, metro
15. Living in walking distance from multiple metro lines
16. Playing soccer with my host brothers in the garden by El Palacio Real
17. My host Mom’s incredible pasta dishes
18. The moments where I’m actually able to eavesdrop on Spanish conversations and it feels like the biggest accomplishment ever
19. Successfully using “nativa” vocabulary and wowing people who expect me to speak bad Spanish
20. The satisfying feeling of speaking in Spanish back to waiters who only want to speak to you in English, until they finally get it and switch back into Spanish
21. Freshly baked cakes by my host mom every few weeks
22. The soundtrack of my host brothers practicing piano and violin
23. Entering the same shoe shops in Malasaña over and over again until I found the perfect pair of shoes
24. Spending hours in the Prado museum for FREE!
25. The surprisingly frequent, actually good street music
26. Living smack in the middle of the city
27. Walking to El Rastro in just five minutes
28. Eating a frightening amount of olives every week
29. The culture of getting a drink to catch up with a friend and sitting there for hours without being rushed
30. Hearing “no pasa nada,” because even when it really feels like “algo pasó,” chances are it isn’t the end of the world
31. Being taught by female professors who work tirelessly in the feminism and activism community, who taught me so much about my identity and the power of words
32. Living in a home bursting with music and art of all kinds
33. Greeting everyone with “que tal,” and actually taking the time to hear their answers
34. The immense passion that Spaniards have for life, it’s palpable everywhere, in homes and on the streets. Things that I constantly take for granted in the US, like a cup of coffee, are seen as sacred quality time here.
35. Having the opportunity to make friends from multiple universities, which is such a treat coming from a small school. I am so thankful for the friendships I’ve made and the relationships I’ve developed with everyone in the program.

And with that, I’m signing off! I’ll soon be saying my big “hasta luego” to Madrid. But it really will be an “hasta luego,” not an “adios.” Un abrazo a todos <3


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