Monday, March 30, 2009

Musings from across the pond...

(Yes, I realize that is usually used in relation to England, but I still find it applicable here...)

Some things I've been thinking on recently:

1. No matter what the weather is doing, the MadrileƱos are complaining about it. I seriously thought that this was just a cold weather thing, as it truly was colder than the average winter when we arrived. Yet they continued to complain about the cold when it got to be 40 degrees...50 degrees...55 degrees...and then when it hit around 60 or 65, they started complaining that it was too hot. I also thought for a while that this was just a Carmen thing, but it appears that it is fairly widespread.

I would like to point out, however, that when they are complaining about the heat, most of them are still dressed in long pants, layered long sleeves, and perhaps a scarf and boots to top it off. Seriously, put on some sandals and a t-shirt. It truly does wonders for the heat factor.

2. Spanish has taken over my brain. Clearly this is more of a me thing than a Spain thing, but recently it has come to my attention that I no longer know how to spell a variety of words in English - I can only seem to come up with their Spanish spellings. This isn´t too bad until I try to message my poor mother and she has to continually tell me how to spell things correctly...

3. While Spanish drivers are crazy, they actually do give pedestrians the right-of-way. Any time there is a cross walk but no light, the pedestrian always has the right-of-way. Randomly cross in front of a car in Peoria, even at a cross walk, and prepare to be road-kill.

4. Though the drivers can be trusted, the motorcyclists cannot. You know in those movies about big cities how they´ll show some motorcyclist weaving his way through traffic, not staying in any real lane, or driving up on the sidewalk like a crazy-person? Turns out, that actually happens.

5. The dogs here are better behaved than the children back home. I may have mentioned this before, but there are lots of dogs in Madrid, most of which are tiny, wear sweaters when it is cold, and frequently get walked without leashes, yet never stray from their owners. What is more, the owners will go into a store or restaurant and leave their dogs waiting for them on the sidewalk outside, where they sit patiently, without moving. This continues to blow my mind.

Momma and Daddy countdown: 4 days!!!!!

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