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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hannah - Madrid - Week 1

Hey everyone!
I arrived here in Madrid last Thursday and I'm having an amazing time exploring this beautiful city! I'm here to do an internship with 1 Kilo de Ayuda, a non-profit organization that raises funds for projects relating to health, education, and employment. My main responsibilities include media design and production while also maintaining various social networking sites.  I've been staying at hostels for the past week by myself but other students in the program are arriving next week. 

My room at Uhostels
My favorite moment in Madrid has to be from my first day when I exited the metro station for the first time to hear a street performer playing the Game of Thrones theme song on his violin! If I wasn't completely exhausted from the flight or carrying around two suitcases, I would've stayed for the whole thing. Anyways, I took a quick siesta at my hostel that day and visited three apartments to find somewhere to live for the next 3 months. I eventually settled on an apartment in the Chamberí district, which is supposed to be a traditional neighborhood. I'll be living with Ashley and Laura from UofM along with six other people from different countries like France and Ireland. I can't move in until Saturday but I'm excited to get settled in and meet everyone! The whole process of finding an apartment was actually quite hectic and seems fairly informal. I interacted mostly with the people who are living there and haven't even met the landlord yet!

After getting all of that figured out, I was able to finally see the city! First thing I noticed trying to get around was the street signs. They are tiny and located in the most random locations on the side of buildings. I have absolutely no idea how people dry here! I can't even navigate my way through the streets using GPS.
Let's play "Can you spot the street signs?"

 By now, you probably get the point.

El Oso y el Madroño
In Puerta de Sol, what the tour guide referred
to as Madrid's "Statue of Liberty"

On a walking I got to see Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, and the Royal Palace. These were all beautiful places and it was interesting to hear the history that the buildings and statues reflect. The tour guide mentioned that throughout Madrid, you can find holes on the sides of buildings and structures that are from bullets from the Civil War.

On Monday, I started my internship and met everyone at my office. Everyone is really welcoming and patient with me trying to understand their Spanish. This week, I've mainly been searching on the Internet for other companies to collaborate with and doing some advertisement design. Because today is the Madrid holiday for San Isidro, I'm off of work today and tomorrow!

Lastly, I'd like to introduce Menú del Día. Restaurants here give special lunch deals where you can order two plates, a drink, and a dessert for just 10-15 euro. By the end of the meals, I'm always sick from eating too much! Here, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and doesn't start until two. Dinner is always really late, eight at the earliest. I'm having trouble adjusting to these strange eating schedule but I'm getting there! 


 That's all for this week!


1 comment:

  1. Hannah,

    My name is Tammy Mida. I am interning in the LSA International Internship office this summer, so I will be reading and responding to your posts!

    What a great first post! Your job sounds interesting and relevant, as well as challenging. Do you have a basic understanding of Spanish? Is the website in English? I would love for you to share the web address. I'm glad that you found an apartment. I can see how that would have been an overwhelming experience, but you did it! Getting settled in will really make Madrid feel like a home away from home.

    The street signs are hilarious. I couldn't even find them in some of the pictures. Good thing you're not driving! The tour was a great idea, so you can see some of the more iconic areas and learn about the history at the same time. I hope you keep enjoying the food specials. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your work week!