Madrid is too hot
Everybody warned us that Madrid was going to be incredibly hot in August, but we still weren’t prepared for it. The city is right in the middle of Spain, land locked, and over 100 degrees every single day. I was sweating out of places I didn’t even know were possible.
Our Airbnb was great, but there was no AC so I found myself taking a couple of cold showers a day. We quickly discovered the way of the locals is to wake up around 7-8am, stay outside until about 1-2pm, sleep until about 7pm then stay out until 2am. It’s a weird cycle but basically the only way to stay reasonably cool.
European washers are confusing
If only somebody was there to witness Meghan and I try to work these washing machines. I would imagine you would think we were from another planet, or had never washed clothes before.
We quite literally wasted our first afternoon in Madrid sitting on the kitchen floor (washers are in the kitchen) staring at the machine trying to figure out when it would stop. Just like cleaning an oven, once you turn those puppies on they don’t unlock. Every time we tried to turn the knob it just restarted the whole washing cycle.
Three hours later they were the cleanest clothes I had ever worn. Luckily the 100 degree heat dried them in ten minutes.
I’m not a good napper
I always thought that the point of a siesta in Spain was so that they could stay up later in the night. That’s definitely not true from what I’ve experienced. Basically, it’s so hot midday that everyone just goes home to nap until the Sun goes down. This means you can’t get food, drinks, groceries, anything until evening. Literally, everything is closed.
I’m definitely not made for this routine, but Meghan couldn’t be happier napping for 1-8 hours a day. I think half the reason we ended up staying in Spain for four weeks is because she secretly knew about this napping phenomenon, but didn’t tell me. So instead of napping, I just sit on my computer all afternoon and then by the time it’s 11pm and locals are waking up and going back outside, I’m ready for bed. Someday I’ll figure it out.
The last time I was in a public pool was probably when I was a summer camp counselor in high school and took the kids to the local one in Camas, WA. I distinctly remember asking the kids I was taking care of if they needed to use the bathroom and they all shook their heads no because they had already gone…. In the pool.
Hell, even the Olympians pee in the pool: http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-phelps-everybody-pees-pool-2016-8
Given this, you can imagine how uncomfortable I was when it was 105 degrees and our only option to get out of the sun was to go to the public pool in Madrid. Granted, these were much nicer pools and it seems like it is the normal thing to do there so I guess it was ok. I definitely never put my head under water though (Meghan did).
One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed between home and Europe is the reliance we have on our phones in the States. When I’m there, it’s impossible for me to be out to dinner with Meghan, drinks with friends or walking down the street without constantly checking my phone. However, in Europe as one restaurant sign put it, “No WIFI here, we prefer conversation”.
I used to think I was a pretty interesting guy to grab a drink with, and I could chat your ear off about whatever is going on, but I’m a modern day mute compared to the locals here. From the time they sit down to the time the leave dinner (two hours later) they literally never stop talking. It’s probably making me better at conversation, well not necessarily better, but I definitely have started talking more. Blessing and a curse for Meghan.
- I don’t like being land locked
- I’m in charge of alarms
- Sangria is amazing
- Beer is also good
- It would be nice to have a car
- Everything has such a rich history
- The palaces are beautiful
- I’m feeling pretty removed from American culture
- Can I really do this for ten months?