The first time I went to Madrid I was unsure and culture shocked. I felt vulnerable due to my inability to understand anything that was said. I was incredibly disapointed in myself for being so cowardly that I would end up eating in McDonalds because I was too afraid to try speaking Spanish. I started to think that maybe my dreams of moving to Spain had been just that, dreams. I thought I had romantised the whole thing and I had arrived to find I had been naive; in the worst moments I thought I would have to return to Australia and face all the people I had earbashed for months about my move. I was taking a course to give me some teaching English qualifications, it was intense and I didn't get to spend as much time enjoying Madrid as I would have liked. When I left Madrid it was as a city I liked, but I didn't feel the connection to it that I had anticipated I would.
When I went to England in the summer my initial emotion was relief, relief to be out of Spain. I felt comfortable, nothing really challenged me. It was different enough from my life in Australia to be interesting, but not as different as my life in Spain to stress me. I had decided to stay in the UK but then I re-read my blog posts from earlier in 2009 and remembered how passionate I had been about living in Spain and learning Spanish; on a whim booked a ticket back to Spain with no accommodation or job lined up. I spent only a week in Spain before I got the job I'm in now, I returned to Valencia because it was the place I had the happiest memories of in Spain, two days after being told I had the job here I was on a train down to Andalucía and that was that.
...the point of this post was to talk about my love for Madrid after my initial indifference towards it. The Spanish capital is so...alive. My time in Andalucía has made me much more comfortable with not understanding everything, and has helped me understand many things I didn't before. This time in Madrid I was the experienced one ( My friend snoop from Australia was with me) and I could really appreciate the differences between Madrid and my town in Andalucía. I think it would be almost impossible to be bored living in the capital.
Unfortunately I seem to have made my way into almost all my Madrid photos - a pro (or con when it comes to blogging photos) of travelling with anther person.