Making Madrid Mine: Cheers and Jeers Edition

Rachel Chea

More stories from Rachel Chea

The Single Life
March 23, 2017

About three weeks ago, I embarked on a semester-long adventure in Madrid, Spain, and I’m still in awe that this is my life. These past three weeks have felt like two months. While I’m still trying to find my rhythm in this new city, there are some things that I already know I like and I don’t like.


Cheers to Madrid “winter!”

This time of year is considered winter in Madrid, but it feels more like spring to me! While the rest of Madrid is bundled up in heavy winter coats, I’m here in a North Face enjoying the sunny, 50 degree [Fahrenheit]. Being from the islands, you would think that this would be freezing to me, but I guess it’s safe to say that my body has officially acclimated to Syracuse’s weather patterns.

I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes I get cold and wish I actually had a winter coat, but then I remember that I could be knee-deep in snow and ice right now—that thought alone just warms me up! Let’s just say that being here has been a nice change from the normal snowy, frigid and tundra-like Syracuse winter. Good luck with that!


Jeers to the countless slow walkers in a big city

New York, Washington, DC and Paris. All three of these have three things in common: they’re all major cities in the world. I have visited each, and in each of these cities people walk at a brisk pace. Call it a common belief or misconception, but I was under the impression that life in big cities is fast paced and that people walk at a brisk pace. Apparently Madrid is the exception to this unspoken rule.

Being a fast walker myself, naturally slow walkers make me angry. Imagine coming to a city, and having people walk at the pace of snails in front of you, in the metro when you’re trying to catch a train, at crosswalks and on the sidewalk. Now I’m not saying that everyone is like this, yet, it is a tad annoying.

I must admit that some of the culprits are of the older generation. However, when you’re on a mission to get somewhere and they take up the sidewalk or escalator, you would be a little peeved. To quote a new friend of mine: “The amount of abuelitas I’ve almost drop-kicked, is far too high.…”


Cheers to tapas and sangria!

I don’t know about later in the semester, but for right now, I never get tired of these two things. Tapas—which are basically Spanish appetizers—are just amazing and make the perfect lunch or snack! If it were up to me, I would eat tapas every day. At most tapas restaurants, or at least ones that I have been to so far, it seems that sangria is the drink of choice, aside from beer. So cheers to you tapas and sangria, you never fail to satisfy and delight!


Jeers to late night dinners

One common fact about Spain, that everyone knows or hears about, is that they eat dinner late at night…or at least later than I am accustomed to. I don’t know about you, but I’m used to eating at 7 pm. Prior to coming here, I had always heard that they have dinner around 10 pm. In my host family, we eat around 9:30 pm or a little bit earlier—and I can barely handle that! I’ve been here for three weeks so far and I still don’t know how they do it; I have yet to find the secret.