My room and company.
Here is María José! I like here a lot. Someday I will tell you a lot more about her, and it will be a treat for us both. For now, know only that she lives alone with her cat and a student (me for now), and that she wears pajamas around the house and very chic formal clothing everywhere else (see above), which is very Spanish of her. The home is absolutely sacred and private (and here I come with my bags and packages), and the street is social.
So this's a terribly dull post about me being alive and disoriented in Madrid and also having a room.
My room is a silly mixture of María José's things and my stuff. Things and stuff just don't mix well, you know? That's her stuffed pink bear gurgling in my coffee bag. Mama, so you know, that's the necklace you bought me pinned up over the Jolie Holland postcard, which, Hannah, so you know, is from the show we went to. Also to Mama: the long colorful postcard is a Henry Darger print which, Rachel, so you know, is the one I bought when we went to the Folk Art Museum the gither.
The Statue of Liberty snow globe, bald porcelain doll head, fan, etc., are not mine - nor is the bag of foodstuffs, which, Mama, so you know, I ate instead of giving to María José. The bag of candied ginger is taking me a while, but by gosh, she's not getting a pedazo. Well, okay, maybe a pedazo. Just because I get to lisp the "z" as I offer it.
I don't actually feel utterly lost in a foreign land yet, but we'll see what happens when classes start. One thing I've already learned from landing here is that I am not the empty collapsible kid I was. Yet. I know the difficult stage of living away is coming, coming, coming.
I know I tell you nothing about Madrid in this post, and sorry. I promise I'll take more pictures, now that I have my camera, and that the things which seem or are so damn quirky about Madrid will eventually be related.
The food is delicious, though repetitive. We were in despair about the lack of vegetables (sandwhich here means fried meat or tortilla between two pieces of french bread, without vegetable or condiment) (tortilla means incredibly delicious omelet) until Julia had the brilliant idea of ordering Gazpacho, which is cheap and delicious and healthy. Now we all eat a lot of Gazpacho.
Matt's a vegetarian, so Spain is a bit difficult for him. His current line is that the only vegetable you can get anywhere in Spain is ham. It isn't really a funny line, but it's true. There's ham pretty much everywhere you look----since I made fun of Matt's joke I'm not going to add any of my own to that.
I can't format anywhere in the world, but here are Matt and Julia (HOO-lee-ah, since we're pretending to be spanish) eating hot chocolate on Julia's birthday. By "eating" I mean eating, and by "hot chocolate" I do actually mean hot melted actual chocolate. Really, come to Madrid.
I know that the main vice of tourism is cuteness, but we're Not Tourists, so it's okay for them to be that. Cute, guys, I'm calling you cute.
Julia studies literature and is going to Oxford next semester. Normally she goes to Catholic University. She is a wonderful girl. Matt studies psychology at Harvard, and is returning next semester. He is a wonderful boy. We eat together all the time, because eating alone/while walking/less than five times a day is not allowed, and we speak only Spanish to each other. This has made us pariahs among the many other U.S. students at Carlos III (about which more much later), and that's probably really good.
Someone asked me today (someone, who knows who) how long I had been in Madrid, and in truth, I had no idea. Only two weeks! Ridiculous + I don't believe it.