Have you ever been anywhere and felt immediately at home? For some people it’s in a best friend’s house or the library during finals week (just kidding, that’s just being surrounded by suffering). I recently had that sensation in Madrid this weekend, and on May 30th when I first arrived.
I’m a little bit of a romantic at times so I thought maybe it’s just the beautiful architecture or the antiquity of it all. All the monuments, gardens, and museums let you take a step back in time for even just a brief moment and enjoy something people did hundreds of years ago. Taking a walk at night is supposed to scare the crap out of me as a woman, right? (Still sort of did a little) But Madrid at night is so beautiful and strange at the same time. I could walk for hours, looking into the bustling cafes and bars. Watching the drunken Spaniards ramble on about politics and how Spain’s economy is going to shit.
After laughing to the point that I almost pissed myself today, I realized it wasn’t just the city. It’s the people. That feeling of belonging I get being in this city is because I’ve met so many amazing people, both from Spain and elsewhere. I laugh with them and have had amazing times but also it seems like they all give a shit about something; they all are real people with dreams and plans and interesting lives. I think, more or less, that’s literally everyone in the world right? Everyone has a story, and a life worth living. Not everyone gives a shit about something worth giving a shit about though. For the most part, they did. It was always something inspiring because to them, life is too short. What wonderful human beings honestly. Just sharing their lives and perspectives was enough to make me want to stay. I feel so welcome because they genuinely are welcoming me into a part of their lives, even for a day or two.
I think it also has to do with a common acceptance of the fact that people have different perspectives and live their lives the way they want to. People are more than meets the eye. Everyone has a story to be told. Again, I’m a romantic so what the fuck do I know? I just finished reading the book A Man Called Ove yesterday, crying my eyes out in the gardens next to the Palace here. I highly recommend it; the book had a lot to do with understanding there is much more to someone than what we first see.
Back to Madrid. Now, of course that’s not everyone. I’ve met people who nearly knocked me over on the street. I’ve been ripped off by bartenders and cheated by hostels, but I still truly believe for the most part that this city is just full of people worth knowing and getting to know.
And how could I not talk about the food?!?! That’s for later posts mis amores.
The culture though. The way people live their lives here is so much slower than the U.S (which sometimes has me nearly screaming obscenities at people walking as slow as possible when I’m trying to get somewhere). I love it though, and I think this is how I’d like to live my life. Maybe it’s because I’m always late everywhere I go, or maybe it’s because I can no longer see the point in racing through life without trying to enjoy every bit of it that I can.
Maybe it’s not Madrid that I love, but the new way of life I’ve discovered here with these amazing people. I think, more or less, it’s both.
I wish I could stay, but a story must end at the right time on the right note. So for now, hasta luego!
*BTW I almost pissed myself laughing because I came across my friend cutting his pizza with scissors. Think outside the box my friends.