Many people think that life should be work, eat, play. In that order. Well...that's not the life we have found in Madrid thus far. Don't get me wrong, Ali and I definitely work, however we find that we have a lot more time for the things we love. There is something about living in a new city, not knowing the language, and where everything is a new experience, that helps with creativity and getting out of the monotony of life. This is exactly what Ali and I were hoping we would find with the move to Madrid. Here is a little snippet of what we have been up to the past three weeks…
Last weekend Ali and I were able to visit the two massive parks in Madrid: Retiro Park and Casa de Campo. Retiro reminds me of City Park in Denver. A great park that has a lot going on during the weekend, people exercising, and people just enjoying life. Casa de Campo, however, is about five or six times bigger than Ritero Park. It has a zoo, aquarium, a couple of lakes, and a lot of trails. There is so much to do. The Metro has three stops inside the park.
One great thing about Madrid is the street musicians. Everywhere we go, we find ourselves having a real life soundtrack. Granted, some musicians are better than others, we still love hearing the accordion on the metro, the pan flute player on the street, and the fully amplified, five piece, jazz band in the park. They are all enjoyable to listen to. We have so much time to explore and to really enjoy the city where we are living.
Two weeks ago an area of Madrid called Lava Piés had an event called Tapa Piés (pronounced pea-ace). I don’t know if you’re familiar with Spanish culture, but when you order a beer or a glass of wine most bars and restaurants will give you a tapa. This could be a piece of bread with jamon (cured ham) on it, a bunch of olives, a bowl of chicken and rice soup etc… Tapa Piés is an event that had about 90 restaurants and bars involved, and each of these places would have an original tapa that they entered into the contest. We paid 2.50 euros (about $2.75) for a beer and a tapa. It was great! We went to about ten different places and tried their tapas. My favorite was a croquet with cheese and ham inside!
Our work is pretty fun. For those of you who don’t know what we are doing for work, we are English teachers in primary schools. Ali’s school is crazy far away. She takes a 30 minute metro to a train station in the north and then jumps on a bus that can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to get to the village where she teaches. I, however, walk 15 minutes to my school….I teach 1st grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade. Ali teaches kindergarten through 6th grade. We are teaching assistants so we don’t have to lesson plan or anything. We take small groups of kids out of the classroom and teach them English or help them with their work using English. It is pretty fun! Oh, and we only have to teach Tuesday-Friday! Yeah 3-day weekends! EVERY weekend!!!
We love it here so far! We are currently planning our trip to France and Italy for Christmas and New Years! Feel free to contact us and ask us any questions through Facebook or text us with iMessage (firstname.lastname@example.org) or WhatsApp (+1-616-648-4731)!