Anna's Journey

The beginning

In Madrid on September 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm

 I remember Madrid as the warm voice of my host mother tsking the nightly news during dinner, as cultural lectures followed by heaps of tortilla and copas of wine, as tight streets opening onto plazas where old men in business suits and stylish ladies in heels sit and sip their cafe con leches. I remember Madrid as historic Europe with a hip, ever-thriving beat. I remember Madrid as one of those times in my life that sits separate and distinct.

 I studied in Madrid during my junior year of college. I made some of my closest friends through the program and had more adventures than I thought were possible (including skydiving on the program’s budget!). I closed this chapter of my life with a sigh, sending my saludos to my host mother, who was by that time a grandmother to me, and hoping that someday I would return.

 That someday arrived faster than I could have imagined. This morning, three years and three months after I said goodbye to Madrid, Jason and I arrived at the Barajas airport. Weary with jetlag, we navigated the subway system to the hostel where we are staying for three days. I didn’t know how I would feel, returning to this city that I used to consider my home. While most of the city seems familiar, but no longer like home, the smells brought back memories. Uniquely Madrid, the city smells like a mixture of cigarette smoke, small cars and motorcycles and fresh pastries. It is sweet, slightly toxic, and absolutely delicious.

 It’s good to be back.

At the Parque Retiro

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  1. Muy bien, mi hija. You write beautifully.

    dad

  2. I’m glad that Madrid at least smells familiar. Very good opening description for the blog. I look forward to reading more. We got to see Abigail in NY for brunch last week, but not the rest of the Drapkins this summer. Miss you. Love, Ann

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