Roman (along with several others) has been urging me to get my own facebook page, but I have steadfastly resisted the peer pressure (mostly out of laziness – the effort required to post consistently witty comments on my page seems exhausting). But this left the question: how would I keep in touch with people back home during my 4 week trip to Spain? Roman insisted that I couldn’t just go incommunicado for this period. And I must admit that I like the idea of sharing my Madrileño experiences with people back home. So we decided that the best (though perhaps clichéd) solution is for me to keep a blog. Here’s what you should know before we start out:
Madrid has a well-earned reputation as a party city, but I first visited Madrid for work. In 2006, my company sent me to its manufacturing plant in Madrid to perform some equipment testing. (Side note: I’m a chemical engineer and I work for a biopharmaceutical company. But feel free to think of me as a professional nerd; it is easier to remember and every bit as true.) By the end of that month-long trip, I realized that I love the city of Madrid... in a way that I can only compare to my love for Boston (the city I consider home). So I resolved to make another extended visit.
And it’s taken me longer than I anticipated, but finally... I am returning to Madrid. For another month-long trip. But this time, I’m on vacation. What will I do with myself for an entire month in one city? Well, here are my objectives. (Yes, I recognize that normal people don’t have trip objectives when they go on vacation, but I’m a professional nerd... work with me here, people.)
1. Finish learning the language
I’m about half-way fluent in Spanish right now. To improve things, I’ll be going to language school every weekday morning while I’m in Spain.
2. Blend in with the locals.
The idea here is to seek out the real Madrileño hang out spots. Tapas bars, cafes, markets, soccer stadiums, flea markets, etc. We want the real experience.
3. Take in as much of the culinary delights of Madrid as possible.
I’m a bit of a foodie, so it’s quite possible this blog could end up reading like an episode of Tasty Travels. But I’ll try not to let that happen.
So yeah, that’s the plan. I arrive in Madrid on Jan 17... you’ll hear more from me then.