Today marks my two month anniversary in Spain. It is quite fitting that today I picked up my residency card and I am now a legal resident for the next year. For the most part, I feel very well adjusted to living in Madrid. I know my way around the metro and I am beginning to connect different parts of the city in my head. I have learned which grocery stores have the best prices, the location of the best bakery in my neighborhood, and have discovered a new clothing store called lefties that similar clothes and prices to H & M.
Below is a list of my goals I created before leaving for Spain, and the ones in italics I have completed. Others, I am still in the process of completing such as trying new foods and learning to be more laid back about being on time.
1. Find an apartment!
2. Become fluent in Spanish
3. Try lots of new foods and learn how to cook some authentic Spanish dishes
4. Visit at least six countries and go to Africa once, get lots of passport stamps
5. Learn to navigate the metro system in Madrid
6. Become familiar with the neighborhood I live in and explore other neighborhoods in Madrid
7. Become a better teacher and teach my students to be better people
8. Stay in contact with friends and family
9. Take lots of photos or learn a new craft/art form
10. Volunteer and get my students involved as well
11. Go to a concert, theater, and flamenco performance
12. Learn to be more laid back and not have everything planned ahead of time
13. Visit a temple, mosque, and church
14. Make friends with Spaniards
15. Do something natury like rafting, zip lining, hiking
16. Host a dinner party
17. Enjoy reading an entire book in Spanish - I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but I am hoping to move on to adult books in the near future
18. Buy a piece of art from my travels
19. Find intercambio partner
20. Have no regrets
In addition to the initial goals that I set, I have added a couple more now that I have been here for a little bit.
1. Rent a rowboat at retiro
2. Go to Bilbao and see the Guggenheim Museum
3. Have someone stop me on the street and ask for directions, and for me to be able to understand the question, know the location they want to go to, and provide proper directions
Some of my highlights of my time in Spain including spending two beautiful afternoons in Retiro park loosing complete track of time and falling asleep while reading, sharing a delicious Rosh Hashanah dinner with friends, seeing an amazing free flamenco performance in the metro, teaching an entire lesson by myself, and traveling to Seville and Cordoba.