I'm here. Currently, I'm laying on my yellow-blanketed bed in Hotel Regina, conveniently located in the heart of the city. I was supposed to nap until 5:15, and thought the room I had was a single...
I was awakened by a roommate!! I was SO embarrassed: I had things thrown everywhere.
My flight from Portland, ME, to Newark, NJ, to Madrid, Spain, was not as bad as I had originally anticipated. Sure, I have my fair share of jet lag, but I'm in Europe! I figured it would be best to just live my day normally. Me and a few of my new friends thought it would be fitting to celebrate our first night by going to one of the local discotecas. Now that we are of European drinking age, we were thinking of picking up some cerveza (Spanish for beer) and enjoying a two-hour stint at one of the parks, just to explore and get more acquainted. We plan to proceed to the clubs around 12 or so.
Wasted. Sloshed. Hammered. Toasted. Just an FYI...it is frowned upon to be seen in public drunk. In other words, alcohol is seen as more of a social thing than as something used to get to the point of no return.
Somewhere over the middle of the Atlantic, I cried tears of joy. The last time I remember tears emerging from my iron-clad tear ducts was this past summer, after a trip to NYC. I have never cried out of sheer happiness before. I was so proud of how far I had come, how all of my problems from last semester were things of the past, and how easily I could talk to strangers. I watched "He's Just Not That Into You" on the Madrid flight...GREAT movie.
I met Betsey, a Master's student in Madrid, and Allison, a fellow Junior studying abroad in Barcelona. It is so great to make connections. And it is also great that I met Betsey via a small blonde girl who handed her a note to give to "that boy in the wheelchair." A love note. Classic.
I also met two other students studying in Madrid while at baggage claim. I can't wait to meet some locals!
Me, Lauren, and Sam, all API students, went for a long stroll downtown to check out our new hometown. We snuck into a small tapas bar that was soooo good we decided it had to be our new hang out spot before the club. It was a little intimidating at first to be forced to order in Spanish, but we all did fine. It's really just an adjustment; we have all studied Spanish for years and just need to dust off the old files and apply them to the here and now.
Coincidentally, my hotel roommate is also my housemate at our Sra's house. I hope he wasn't too startled when he saw me sprawled across the bed...
Anywho, keep an eye out for some pictures from today and this evening. We're going to dinner around 8pm, and I'll probably have a much lengthier post within the next few days. This weekend should be very interesting.