9 Dec

Today is my one day of work for the week. Yes, in Spain the ¨holiday weekend¨ is serious business. It´s called a ¨puente¨ (literal translation: bridge) and we got Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off for some sort of Spanish holiday (I think the day of the consitution). I took advantage of this holiday by spending 4 nights in Porto, Portugal. I´ll share some highlights from that trip soon, but here are some other miscellaneous musings from this puente:

huelgas galore. In typical Spanish fashion, there was a massive air traffic controller strike on Friday and Saturday, cancelling zillions of flights and stranding people at home and in random cities. Over 350,000 travellers were affected by the UNANNOUNCED strike, including my roommate Alia who couldn´t make it to Porto. The Spanish government called this a ¨national emergency¨ and taunted the strikers with prison time if they refused to go back to work. Everything was cleared up by the time I left Porto on Tuesday.

cien montaditos. While I think this endeavor might deserve a post of its own, one of my favorite restaurants/cervecerias in Madrid is called ¨100 Montaditos¨ and it features 100 different tapas-style sandwiches, all under 2 euro (on Wednesdays, everything on the menu is 1 euro). It is my goal to try as many of the cien as I can in the remaning months that I am here. Right now I´m eight hundredths of the way there and the current favorite is the Cesar salad inspired one…as well as the jarras of cerveza, claro.

christmas in the city. It´s definitely beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. With our first snowfall last week, Christmas decorations flooding the city center, and our apartment´s own tiny tree, it totally feels like Christmas. All I need is an advent calendar and I´m basically set tradition-wise.

thoughts on airports. After two quick trips (to Lyon and Porto) I feel like I am beginning to know Terminal 1 at MAD quite well. There are some things I love about airports: the international jet-setter feel to the people, the people-watching opportunities, and the inspiration to travel to new places. The things I hate? The hurry-up-and-wait mentality, the unannounced gate changes, impromptu strikes, and overpriced food. My Ryanair flight, however, wasn´t as bad as I would have expected, however I do think they need to work on their landings.

I´ll update with pictures and thoughts on Porto soon – not sure when I´ll find the time with all the work I´m doing, baha!

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