I´ve been in Madrid well over a month now, and some of the initial things that I had to adjust (or re-adjust to) have subsided. I remembered once I got here that EVERYTHING is slower in Spain (internet installation, restaurant service, the speed at which people move on weekend mornings, etc.) While I´m loving being back in the bocadillo routine, the reliability of the metro, and the 6 bars for every 100 Madrileños, there are a few things that I am still adjusting to:
- ¨¿Han hecho pis?¨ – This question, literally ¨Have you made pee?¨ is asked by all the teachers to the students. For the youngest ones (3 years old), an affirmative answer is a requirement for them to get a cookie and go to the patio for recess. For my oldest students (2nd graders), they´ll ask me or their teacher ¨¿Me hago pis?¨ I am accustomed to the more formal ¨May I go to the restroom?¨ Or even ¨May I please use the restroom?¨ Definitely hope I don´t return to the states using this expression.
- Lack of peanut butter. It´s not impossible to find here, but I´m not quite ready to shell out 6€ for a non-Costco sized container.
- Citizens who understand public transportation. The transition from metro to escalator is basically a beautifully choreographed routine, and no one is ever out of line. Everyone always goes to the right, making room for those who are in a hussle. I´ve seen traces of this behavior in SF, but never in Los Angeles.
- Being called ¨profe¨ or ¨teacher.¨ Strikes me as weird every time, but I don´t hate it…
- Cheap flights on budget travel airlines. Did I really just book a round trip flight to Portugal for 22€?
There´s likely more where these came from, so stay tuned 🙂