¡Hola a todos una vez mas!
Greetings from Madrid. It has really been a beautiful week here. The weather is a constant reminder of why I’m happy to be here instead of New England during these winter months. This also made me realize how easy the adjustment to the European lifestyle has been thus far. I’ve heard the culture shock spiel a million times over, and just assumed I’d be its next victim. But it honestly hasn’t hit me yet.
Don’t get me wrong; there are many things I have had to get used to, but I wouldn’t call it “shock.” The meal schedule, for example, is completely different. Madrileños eat a very light breakfast, such as a croissant and coffee.
Lunch isn’t served until 2 p.m. and is the largest meal of the day. There is a law in Spain that requires every restaurant to have a “Menu del Dia” for lunch. This is typically a three-course meal that includes drinks, bread and dessert. Tapas are another common custom in Spain. Whether served at lunch or dinner, tapas are little appetizers that you receive when you order drinks at a restaurant. I love to have tapas at The Plaza Mayor with some sangria. Sometimes I wish I could just drink sangria and only sangria for the rest of my life. It’s that good.
Dinner is pretty late, usually at about 9 or 10 p.m., and not very big. I have to say that I enjoy this schedule because I’m not snacking very much. After dinner, it is time to nap before getting ready to go out.
Yes, that last bit I mentioned about napping after dinner, before going out, is the truth. The nightlife here begins after 2 a.m. and ends at dawn, so napping is a must. The clubs in Madrid are like Toad’s on steroids. Kapital is really popular and has seven different floors, each with a different theme. I didn’t believe it could ever get packed, but sure enough, when 3 a.m. rolls around, we’re packed in like sardines. Joy is another favorite, especially on Thursdays since girls get free entry and drinks until a certain hour.
Joy always has a performance on Thursday night, too. Last week there was a Lady Gaga tribute with male go-go dancers. It was a blast! My next stop will be to Lay Down. If you are a “Sex and the City” fan, you probably remember the episode where they “go to Bed.” It is the same idea. Groups of people go and reserve a bed to be served drinks on all night!
¡Hasta la proximo vez!
Photo credit: Catherine Boudreau