Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, October 03, 2008
so I've been in spain for nearly 2 weeks now, and so far its amazing! I don't even know where to start!
The first two weeks has just been kind of exploring and sussing things out I guess. The club has been really really good to us and we are in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in quite a nice area of Madrid. It's strange to be somewhere where there are no houses, only massive apartment buildings. Everywhere you go, everything is like, 8 stories high, virtually all the parking around town is underground, there is even a stretch of the motorway (11km) that goes underground. I think it's a great use of space, who wants roads and car parks using up space anyone can see?! It does make you think though, everything is underground, even the metro, so it's a wonder it can all fit together. Must be some pretty awesome engineers I would guess.
We've seen a few sights, the Plaza Mayor (above), this awesome little square thing. If anyone has seen vantage point, that's where it was based. It's pretty cool even if there wasn't a movie filmed there. We also stumbled upon the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) the other day, huge! And it's so great there's like a garden kind of in front of it, and it's full of statues of all the old kings – well, not all of them. Some are on the top of the palace overlooking the city, but I think maybe the oldest ones are in the garden. We've also hung out in Retiro – this awesome park with a man made lake in it. It's like a 20min walk from our house, it's huge and so beautiful so many old statues and cool little kiosks/cafes, and the weather is still fantastic clear blue skies low 20s every day. I'm quite possibly the whitest person in Madrid, but not much can be done about that I suppose!
Despite not knowing virtually any Spanish upon arrival, I feel as though I've picked up a huge amount even since being here, I think having a decent grasp on French really helps, a couple of the girls on the team also speak French so that helps too. When my strange spanglish creole isn't working, we can convert to that. However, trying to keep up in a language you really don't know much of can prove difficult, and some days I find I can't form words in Spanish, French or English. I'm hoping we'll get used to it : ) we start Spanish classes on Monday, which I'm really looking forward to – I want to say we're going to pick it up really quickly. Hopefully we'll pick it up really quickly.
The girls are all really friendly and so much fun, we learnt all the really important words like whore and bitch on the first day, haha. And even though they don't really speak English and we don't really speak Spanish, we manage. We had a practice game last night against the u16 boys from our club, it was a bit of a disaster because we were practicing this drop that we haven't done together yet. I was trying really hard to yell in Spanish when I was at centre-back to tell everyone when to press and when to come back etc, I don't know if my Spanish was useless or people just didn't hear me, haha. But no one really reacted haha. We'll get there. A couple have taken us out for Tapas after training (we train 8-10pm every night), and one took us looking for big shoes around the city because people here are quite short and have rather small feet! They're so friendly and happy for us to be here, which makes things really happy for everyone involved really. I'm really glad they're so welcoming.
We have established our locals – we have a tapas bar downstairs from our apartment (2 actually!), a great little restaurant where we can go for lunch (the owner is a friend of our club presidents), and there's a market just down the road, where the fruit lady always gives us there yummy yellow Spanish plum things whenever we go there, and we have a butcher and a chicken man. And yesterday I learnt the word for mince – carne picada : ) There's a huge 'hypermarket' (kind of like walmart/supermarket put together) a couple of blocks away and we have invested in a trolley so that we don't have to carry heavy bags home from all over the place – you know the kind old ladies have. But it's not checkered, it's just balck and it has a grey lid type thing. But I love it, it has great wheels and a good handle – not he kind that makes your hand sore, and it is the perfect height for me : ) everyone is so patient and friendly with us. We stand out like huge freaks, but no one is rude and everyone is happy to help us, despite the fact that we so obviously don't fit in. haha, I keep joking that we are already madrileñas (the name for people from Madrid) but until someone points out that we just look like freaks.
The club has been really hospitable to us, the club president has taken us out for lunch a few times, and the other day we went out for Tapas with the president and also the athletic director of the club. It's always an adventure, and really not that formal between us all which makes things a lot easier. I'm always really nervous about what's appropriate and what you're supposed to say/do etc but it's all pretty casual. The word for centre forward is 'boya' and the word for penis is 'poya' and I guess I got them mixed up when I was talking about Emily and the president just cracked up laughing and then proceeded to educated us on all the nuances of the word 'poya' – we learnt that if someone 'estar un poya' (is a penis) it's like calling them the man. So it's a big compliment. It's such a great ifestyle here, I think I'm going to struggle to go back to normal life after only being here 2 weeks haha! You can work the normal work day I think until 5, or you can knock off at 3 for a few hours and then go back from like 5-7/8 I think. So people have tapas a few times a week. So you go to a bar and order a drink and they give you some food with it, and it's great food. And you usually get a few different dishes and end up very full and drinking a lot. Although no one is really drunk because you're eating the whole time. I have discovered vermouth, they have it on tap in most places, and you start drinking it when you don't want any more beer. Being a girl I prefer to have vermouth con sel – which is when it's watered down a wee bit with like, soda water or something. It's quite nice : ) still am yet to try sangria, but we'll get to that I'm sure.
Anyways, that is enough for today. I feel like this city is serenading me. I really really like it. I hope I play really well so they're just as happy for me to be here as I am!
"courage is the accumulation of small steps"