Un montón de banderitas

And I’m finally getting around to my second blog post. It’s been awhile, but I’ve been pretty busy! 

I think I left off on the end of my first work week. That Friday we had our first real night out in Madrid. Saturday was a pretty lazy day as it was kind of rainy and cold. But Saturday night our roommates’ friend was having a birthday party, so they invited us and we tagged along. It was 60s themed and fun to meet some other people, most of whom spoke English! Sunday we got to go to see Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for a Real Madrid charity game. Sheetal, Rachel and I struggled to get into the stadium, but finally made it to the very top and had a good time. 

Monday was the start of another work week. This week I did some more translating and helped Irene and Maria look through newspapers for stuff about refugees and immigration. Everyday they have to do an online search, one for general and one for immigration. I usually look through the actual newspapers and then we make photocopies of the important articles for the other people in the office to read. I also did a few more translations. And the project of the week was making little flags for world refugee day. We spent at least an hour a day cutting, glueing, and stapling paper and straws together to give to people at the event on the 19th. It took awhile, but we got a process down and had fun chatting while we worked. I also got to go to my first meeting with the rest of the office. I didn’t have to speak, but it was cool to listen to what they had to talk about, even if I didn’t understand everything completely. Maria and Irene are really nice to me though and will always repeat something for me or let me ask them questions about what someone was saying. On Friday we had another meeting with just the interns and one of the lawyers to learn more about the process of becoming a refugee. It’s still a struggle for me to understand everything, but I think it’s getting a little easier. I really need to practice talking, because that is what is hard for me. Whenever I say something it sounds so unnatural and I sound ridiculous. I really want to improve, so I think I’m going to have to find another way because the only time I really have to speak spanish a lot is at work because at my apartment we all just speak in english. 

On Tuesday after work, Sheetal and I went to a lunch that’s called Madrid Menu del Día Martes Madness, which is a group of english speakers that meets every tuesday for a menu del día lunch, where you get a couple of options for a three course meal for usually around 10 euros, and of course lots of wine. It was fun to meet some new people, although some were older, but just to hear what they are doing in Madrid and to hear the advice they have and stories about their experiences. 

Wednesday Sheetal and I went to El Retiro, the park, for a long time because it was a beautiful sunny day and we stayed for a couple of hours sitting in the sun chatting and reading. There are always a lot of people there, but it’s still so nice. It feels like you can escape the city a little bit because there are so many trees and places to just sit or stroll around. Or feed the ducks if you’d like. 

On Thursday, Rachel, Sheetal and I went to an Irish pub that we heard about through our tuesday lunch. No beer for me, but cider will do just fine. 

Friday after work, I hurried home to gather my stuff to leave for Granada. We managed to find our way to the bus station and meet Rachel for the 5 hour bus ride south to Granada. We got there and went to our hostel and then went out for dinner and some drinks. After getting back we were entranced by the cat at the hostel that had just had 6 kittens the day before. They were so precious. Saturday we went to the Alhambra, which had beautiful views of Granada. We had another delicious meal for lunch and then wandered around the shops before going back to our hostel to hang out with the kitties once more, and some new friends on the terrace, which also had really cool views of the city. We had drinks near the Mirador, I think, which has again more beautiful views of Granada, but faces the Alhambra, so we got to see where we were earlier in the day. Then some dinner before the hostel bar crawl, which I will say no more of. Sunday was a pretty relaxed day as we moseyed around town, visiting the cathedral and going out to lunch. And then we headed back to the bus station to get back to Madrid for work. Almost everyone we met at the hostel was just traveling around Europe and was coming from and moving on to other cities, and we had to say oh, we have to go to work. It was nice to get out of Madrid for the weekend, but it was strange to feel like I had a home to come back to. Definitely a nice feeling though. 

Yesterday we had another adventure because Sheetal and I got to go to the Of Monsters and Men concert. I didn’t really know how it would work out, but we got there early and it was all general admission so we were like one row of people behind the front which was amazing and made it even better than the first time I went. It was different than home though, because you just kind of push your way to the front, but they are all like I’ve been waiting here and just know who was there and stay in their spot. But, overall it was a great night and I was so happy that we got to go. 

I think that’s all for now. Tomorrow is the event for world refugee day, which I’m looking forward to, although I don’t know exactly what is going to happen. Today at work we had another meeting and talked about it and everyone was literally running around the office in a frenzy trying to finish last minute things for tomorrow. I think I did the fastest translation I’ve ever done because they gave it to me towards the end of the day and were like we need this for tomorrow. But I’m really excited! I’ll let you know how it goes! 

Hasta luego!

xoxo, Al 

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