My Madrid’s Can’t-Get-Enough-Of

We had three full days, and one early morning to experience Madrid together. Before going to Portugal, I had a chance to walk my friend, Christy, around the city center. We touched based on main places like Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel, and Sol. But now it was time to pick and choose the more local/expat iconic things to do. Christy wanted us to do things I had not experience yet in this city; I wanted to bring her to places that as a local, I cannot get enough of. So here is my list of Madrid’s Can’t-Get-Enough-Of experiences: Baobab – … Continue reading My Madrid’s Can’t-Get-Enough-Of

I don’t know what will.

“Oh.” Some people would say. We felt a little judged at times for not doing the Porto wine tasting, or following the typical advice on things to do in Porto. But we did not mind. Vacations are your own, and only you can choose to do the things that matter to you. After our wild night out, we decided to take it easy, and walk down the shopping street where you can see the Majestic café where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. We prioritized resting, and wandering very slowly under the rare, sunny day (Porto is known for its pouring … Continue reading I don’t know what will.

Shot O’Clock (When In Porto)

“People in Porto love Costa and crepes,” we’d say…But it was really just us that kept going back to Costa for their giant soymilk caramel lattes, and Hand Go for their gluten free/lactose free dripping goodness, mouth-watering crepes. I have pretty healthy eating habits, and Christy is celiac, so she cannot eat gluten or lactose products. This is fine in Spain. As long as you can have rice and potatoes, there are plenty of dishes you can eat and still experience the food culture. But in Portugal, we had a tougher time. “Just tell them you want a really salty … Continue reading Shot O’Clock (When In Porto)

Happy Decaying Buildings

“Quiere marihuana?” he said, and it was a whole new take on hospitality. We arrived in Porto, Portugal after getting our very “home-made” tickets at the RyanAir counter, and having a short, smooth flight. Having only learned 3 phrases in Portuguese, we emerged from the São Bento metro stop, and instantly loved the city. I LOVE the first time you come out of the subway in a place you’ve never been, and get shocked by beauty. It’s a shot of adrenaline and wonder that keeps me addicted to travel. There was so much color against so much gray: happy decaying … Continue reading Happy Decaying Buildings

Day 4: it does not last forever.

It does not last forever. Nothing, that is. It hit me in a moment that I do not remember if it was a day or two ago. I was walking the familiar school hallway I have walked for four months now when I remembered the thing I had forgotten: sooner or later…it will end. My time here, my contract with the school, my living in Madrid, my being an English teacher. I was not trying to get myself depressed. The thought came to me all by itself, and it got me present. I’ve been delaying blogging about my last day in … Continue reading Day 4: it does not last forever.

Leave the crumbling walls.

  “You sold your soul to the devil when you put on your first pair of Jimmy Choo’s, I saw it.” – The Devil Wears Prada, 2006 On the third day in Italy, I had come to realize two important things: 1) I had to give up my usual vegetable intake for carbs, 2) I was being absorbed by the fashion. I have always felt a certain allergy to malls. A two hour shopping trip is more than enough for me to call it a day, and go home to my bed. But there was something so addicting about the … Continue reading Leave the crumbling walls.

I wanted to make out with my croissant.

“We’re going to Milan tomorrow,” said Hannah with a nonchalant tone…like “oh yeah…” “By the way…” “I almost forgot to tell you…” AAAHHHHHH!!!! I had studied about Milan in my college Italian class. Though I could hardly remember a thing, I was SO EXCITED! I have never been obsessed with clothes…but Milan is a major fashion capital. For some reason Italy was making me think about  the whole idea of using what you wear as an artistic expression of yourself.   We had a quick breakfast that morning…but one that I will never forget. Francesco heated up some croissants in the oven, … Continue reading I wanted to make out with my croissant.