This week has been a little slower, with us just trying to get use to a life in Madrid. Here is a little to catch you up on what has been going on.
Sunday started out with us dragging our bags through metro. Poor Brian had to carry heavy heavy suit cases up tons of stairs. But we made it to the flat and now everything is put away in its place. After that we decided to go to the Rastro ( which is like a flea market on the streets). We did not expect to much because people rated it really bad on trip advisor. So we just went to waste time. Well, we both really enjoyed it! It is like a Sunday art and soul festival in The centermof Madrid. There are things being sold from India, Morrocco, Spain, even cheapies from China. But I was an enjoyable day and we walked, bought fruit, listened to music on the streets, and almost used our savings because Brian wanted to get everything from Morrocco for the flat. I told him to hold off, because we would be traveling to Morrocoo soon, and it might be a better deal there! It was funny being him, and him for once being like me! Anyways, we just window shopped and actually we each bought an bag. I got a brown leather purse and Brian a bag for his iPad. So I think it was quite worth it!
This past week we started working at Gredo San Diego. The school is a lot different than those in the states, but then again it is considered a charter school, and I haven't been in a charter school in the states so it might be similar. The school is bilingual, so they try to focus on English a lot. They are very proud to teach the students both languages, which I feel is very important. In my opinion the states havent really figured out the importance of being bilingual...trilingual....what have you. Anyways, it has about 1300 students from the age of 6 months to 17 years old. So as you can imagine the school is very big. The only downfall is that they do not have a lot of landscape. No futbol field or anything like that. They play grounds are very small. But it seems like they have a lot of other activities, theater, swimming (an amazing indoor pool), chorus, band...
Anyways, Brian will be working in Secundaria (13-17) and I will be in infantil (2-6) I'm really nervous because I havent really tought babies, and I don't quite understand how that works. I hope it isn't to much of a day care feeling, because then I will not know how to apply my work into my thesis paper about bilingual education? Anyways, I guess I will figure it out as time goes by.
Other than that we have just been going to work and commuting on bus everyday. Also, we got our holiday days, and our first holiday was Friday, so Brian decided that he would go surfing. He got a round trip bus ticket to San Sebastian. He is staying at a hostel, and I am not sure how it has been going, but I am sure he will let us all know! I decided not to go to save some money, since this month is really tight. We had to use our saving to buy furniture, the basic necessities, put down a deposit, and or rent. All our money went so quick and we do not get paid until the end of the month, so we are teachers with a really low budget right now.
Although the month isn't half way over yet, I think we are doing ok. The groceries aren't to bad, and I have yet to try something amazing that I crave. My mom would be so proud! I have made dinner every day since we moved in, but I think I am running out of ideas. Haha. It's ok though, soon I will figure it out, and next week Brian gets to cook! :)
As you know, the schedule here is horrible. People go to sleep really late, I mean like at 4-5 in the morning, then when we wake up and walk to the bus for work, the streets are dead, and the sky is still dark. People usually do not start work until 9-10, maybe later for all I know. The banks, groceries, almost everything also closes during siesta time. So from 2-6 nothing is really open. Which is fine now that we work until 5, but it sucked the past week when we got off earlier. The bank hours are horrible!! We have to have bank accounts to get paid, but we work the hours they are open, and they do not open weekends, so we are still struggling with that issue.
One good thing so far is that we both have a health insurance card, and we are 100% covered. That makes me so happy, because substitute teaching at home got us nothing at all. SO sad.
Well, let me tell you about our neighborhood. It is in the Medieval area of Madrid, and we live on Cava Baja which is one of the oldest streets in Madrid. On this street you will find the worlds oldest restaurant. It is even in the Guinness book of records. It was established in 1725 ( the name is restaurante sobrino de botin) And we literally live across the street from it. We also live on top of a bar, which doesn't let me sleep ever ( I think I already said all this).
This weekend I also got a chance to experience Madrid by myself. I step out in the morning, when the streets are quieter, and walk from here through Plaza Mayor, and past all these lovely bakeries ( very tempting). I stop and get coffee somewhere so I can use free internet because we still don't have a plan at home. I hope we get one soon, because it is so annoying not having it. Although we did get a cell phone for emergencies, but we don't really need one. Sorry I get side tracked thinking of everything I want to say, but I walked to parque retiro and walked passed the lake with row boats, walked passed the crystal palace which is beautiful, but not as beautiful as our Conservatory in SF. Then I sat and read my book for a while until I decided to go walk to the Fallen Angel, which stand exactly 666 meters above sea level?! Interesting fact of the day. After that I decided to go back into the center of Madrid and just walk around for a while. Mainly people watch. On Saturday I decided to go to La Reina Sofia museum. They have a free entrance time on Saturday and Sunday's, so I finally got to see two of my favorite paintings. One by Dalí and Guernica, by Picasso! It's so big and amazing, but I was sad that they did not allow pictures. It just is so much bigger in real life than in a book. Along with the painting they have all his sketches he worked on before the actual paintings :)
After my walk inside the museum, I decided to sit in the court yard and finish reading my book "One Day" which I really enjoyed finishing, but was quite sad. I really want to watch the movie now, but I haven't seen it out here yet.
On my way back home I bough a newspaper and it comes with a little magazine that gives you information on any events, opera, ballets, broadway shows, movies, and restaurant reviews.
Today, I will be going to watch La Belle at the Opera Theater which is a five minute walk from my flat. It is so exciting to think that I have all this so close by! It really makes me want to move to the city once I am back home. As I told Romy, when she asked me if I wanted to live here forever, I said " I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO!!, that Tony Bennett surely knew what he was talking about!"
Anyways, this week the kids will actually be starting school and I will actually be in the classroom. We also have our first night of University classes. I am nervous but ready. I also cannot wait to here about Brians surf trip, and hope it went well. I hope he sees that he can still surf here, maybe not as often as back home, but something that will let him enjoy his year here as well. :) well, I hope to update you with something really interesting next week.