06 Jul First Impressions in Madrid
It feels like just yesterday I was calling my mom from my apartment at the University of Pittsburgh to let her know I would be going to Spain in five months. Now, I am sitting in Madrid writing about the last three days spent in this wonderful new city. So, to take advantage of this downtime, I suppose it is time I allow myself to do some reminiscing over the past 72 jet-lagged filled hours.
To my delight, the flight went smoothly with no hiccups at the airport either. I watched the sun fall asleep, I watched the moon take its place, and then I watched as the sun reappeared, illuminating the sky with a dark rainbow over the horizon; all in a plane travelling seven miles in thirteen seconds. I counted. I was the first to arrive in Madrid just passed 6:00 am. In an hour I was shaking hands with Mélodie, an event coordinator for Madrid’s Absolute Internship program. Though I had to wait until about 11:00 am for some of the other interns to arrive from their own parts of the globe, Mélodie and I got to know one another while I enjoyed some tine to people watch.
With a quick taxi drive to our residence in Madrid, we were finally and truly in Madrid, Spain. I looked out the taxi’s windows in awe as we sped through traffic, barely dodging the bumper of the car in front of us. I soaked in the thousands of mini terraces that lined the vibrant buildings looming over the busy streets. If there is one thing that can be said for Madrid, it is its colorful residential buildings and abundance of foliage. In this regard, Madrid is different than any other city I’ve ever been to.
That night, the newly arrived interns hauled our excited and jet-lagged bodies to a restaurant in Sol, A.K.A. downtown Madrid. We bonded over tapas and sangria as we learned where each of us were from as well as the four remaining interns form the June wave. By the end of the night we had tomorrow night’s plans finalized with a night out on the town! After some sleep, we all woke up to a day of exploring the city and shops. My fellow intern and I navigated the metro system to locate the building we would be working in beginning Monday. After an Italian lunch, as non-cultural as that may sound, a few of us walked through El Corte Inglés, a seven story mall, just an eight-minute walk from our residence! In no time at all, it was 11:30 pm and we were laughing and sharing stories on the terrace before a night out to Sol. It’s true what they say, the people of Madrid party well past 6:00 am! I ended up going to bed at 7:00 am – that’s right, not waking up but going to sleep! With two hours of sleep under my belt I woke up for the sponsored bus tour and we all set out to sight see more of the city. Thank goodness for Sunday, a day of recuperation, before the internships began!
On Monday, July 4th, I began my internship in the marketing department of my host company. The company is launching an innovative new take on traditional emailing. With my company’s business idea, you can contact anyone by simply knowing their name and the company they work for. The concept will give smaller startup companies the chance to reach the right person in the right company to further their success. The close-knit company is excited to see what we can bring to the table, and I look forward to working with my colleagues all while improving my Spanish speaking skills.
In just three days I’ve had more new experiences than in the first two months of my summer vacation. I cannot wait for what else Madrid has in store.