14 Jul Stepping into a Madrid Summer Internship
Vimbai Mufunde from the University of Essex shares her first of impressions of her Madrid summer internship as one of Absolute's Intern Heroes
I have never experienced love at first sight before but with Madrid, it was different. As a South London girl, I'm no stranger to a big city but the spirit of the Madrileños is unique to Madrid alone. Although I approached Madrid with some skepticism due to the ongoing competition of beauty with Barcelona, Madrid is indeed in a league of its own.
Following the shock of driving on the opposite side of the road came the astonishment at the impeccable architecture across the entire city. You'd think that at some point you'd see somewhere that's not stunning in Madrid, but you would be wrong. With the likes of Gran Vía, Palacio de Cristale, Palacio Real de Madrid, Plaza Ciebeles to Plaza Mayor there is no end to the beauty of the city.
But on the other hand, los costumbres espanoles are polar opposite to those of Gran Bretana. Don’t be alarmed if upon meeting someone you’re greeted with two besos and an abrazo because it’s what they do here. The trick is not accidentally kissing someone when moving from one cheek to the other. It’s a lot harder than it looks especially coming from a city where making eye contact is looked down upon. Nevertheless, my favourite Spanish custom is hands down the love of food I share with the Madrileños. Whilst there isn't an abundance of chicken available as I’m used to, trying out native Spanish food has left me with a constant craving for gazpacho and empanadas. You will never morir de hambre in Madrid!
The atmosphere of Madrid is quite odd upon first impressions too. Everyone goes about their day so softly and gently as if without a care in the world. ‘No pasa nada’ is probably the most used phrase in the morning along with ‘no te preocupes’. Both which are incredibly refreshing to hear when used to the hustle and bustle of London Town. This unrushed atmosphere continues on throughout the whole day as it is almost unheard of to start dinner before 9pm.
My first impressions of Madrid are definitely one of unfamiliarity. But this is a sense of unfamiliarity that I am more than willing to get the hang of.
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