Evils of España
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been careful, or maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I had spent my first month in Spain wondering where all of the pick-pocketing warnings had come from. As if the cautioners were proving a point, my roommate’s phone was taken out of her unzipped crossbody bag on the metro this weekend. Because the bag did not fasten, it was easy for the man to “bump into” her and slide the phone out of its compartment in her purse. Though unfortunate, the situation could have been much worse than a stolen phone, and we are grateful that it can be easily replaced. The experience has reminded us that at four weeks, we cannot be too comfortable while traveling, even within Madrid. It is okay, and necessary, to be confident in our commutes around the city, but also to be as alert as we were when we arrived.
Super Bowl Sunday in Spain
Allowing ourselves a day of American indulgence, a few friends and I ate hamburgers and milkshakes at a TGI Fridays while watching the Panthers, the Broncos, and Beyoncé. Though I did’t have an strong investment in the teams, I had to go and appreciate the last game of the season, Super Bowl 50. The 12:30 a.m. kickoff was later than we were used to, but my good company passed time quickly and was the next best thing to Super Bowl commercials, which we didn’t realize we would miss out on. Causing even more of a concern, our broadcast was delayed, so when American friends began to praise the halftime performance, we were watching Seal. Our late night attention, though, paid off, and I was grateful to have been able to watch a dynamite musical performance laced with powerful and positive messages of equality. Despite a sloppy, somewhat flat game, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and even Lady Gaga with the National Anthem, made it worth crawling into bed at 4:30 a.m., satisfying my “America” craving.
A month into my European journey and Spain is feeling more like home each day. I know, however, that I will never be a “local” and will most likely always be identified as out of place here. For now, though, that is okay with me, because I’ve realized that there are many aspects of American culture that I am not willing to let go of. Both is better. I hope that by the end of my time in Spain, I will be able to blend the best of the American and European lifestyles, to be twice as mindful, twice as wise, and ready to take on the rest of the world.
- You can never be too careful. I know, I know, something your mom would say. But after this weekend, I understand how important it is to be mindful of your surroundings. You don’t have to clench your purse to your chest or travel with a first-aid kit, just be smart. Carry a secure bag with a zipper or flap, have some cash on hand for emergencies, and always be able to make a call for help.
- TGI Fridays
- Calle Gran Vía, 76, 28013 Madrid
Paz, Amor, Madrid