Why Madrid and I Are Not the Perfect Fit

Whenever anyone asks me how I’m liking Madrid I give more or less the same answer.

“Yeah, it’s fun. I mean, for a capital city it’s not so bad.”

This answer would be fine for most people. But I’m not most people. A little voice in the back of my head pokes my brain and says, “You could be ANYWHERE right now.” And the voice is right. Being a native English teacher I have a job in nearly every part of the world. This is actually something that scares me the most. Will I ever be satisfied? Will I always be thinking about the grass on the other side? Where do I belong?

The least I can say is that as I continue to travel and discover new places I am learning more about what makes me smile and what I can do without.

In Madrid I think I could do with some better weather.


Thinking about all the world’s islands I could be living on right about now. I mean really…dónde está la playa?!

I make fun of the US for its complete lack of public transportation, but the reality is that I actually hate it.



Of course I use it every day and find it very useful for my life, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not miserable while I do it. Crawling underground to board a loud machine with some old man pressed against me for 7 stops is not my idea of a fun commute. Note to self: live somewhere you can ride a bike everywhere you need to go.


Tunnel of torture I walk through nearly every day.

My biggest gripe about Madrid is what I call its lack of flavor. Sabor. Spiciness.

Spaniards and even Madrileños are known for their fun and outgoing personalities, but I still feel that there’s some sort of “Ay ay ay, mamita!” attitude missing.


I felt it a little when I was in Andalucía. We went and watched a flamenco show and I remember my arm hairs were standing on end. The passion of the dance literally gave me chills.

But this gitaneo doesn’t thrive in Madrid. My kids don’t say “Olé!” when they do well on a test, they say “Toma!” (possibly just as cute)

Sorry to make you barf, but remember the scene from Breaking Dawn where Bella and Edward spontaneously stumble upon a street party in Rio?


Now I’m not entirely sure that this actually exists outside of movies, but wouldn’t it be great in Madrid?!

What pops into your mind when I tell you the word salsa?

Long, hot nights in a hole in the wall bar sweating up a storm in a tiny dress?

Me too!

This life-is-just-one-big-party-attitude is what I’m so desperately craving here in Madrid. I’m still enjoying the cheap eats around town and am stopping to smell the roses in Retiro. I like Madrid. I don’t love Madrid. I’d like to think that Madrid is the right place for me for now. I love my munchkins at work. I’ve made some cool friends. I’ve had the chance to travel. This isn’t an ohhh boo hoo poor self entitled me blog post. I’m enjoying the present and looking forward to the future. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.


3 thoughts on “Why Madrid and I Are Not the Perfect Fit

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