Aaaaand We’re Back

As I sit here at my friend’s apartment in Boston, I can’t believe that I am back in the United States and that the dialogue has come and gone. The last several days in Spain were jam-packed, both with spending time finishing my article, working on my culture paper, spending time with my friends, and trying to get everything we wanted to do in in Madrid in before the flight home. I was reporting up until Monday for my digital music piracy article, and I must say that I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed more people for an article before.

As the end of the trip came closer and closer, I made sure that I relished every moment. Not gonna lie, some tears were shed the night before our departure. Here’s a rather depressing selfie I snapped the morning we left. Don’t make me go!

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This dialogue was honestly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life thus far. My first time traveling to Europe, seeing amazing sights, triumphing over a series of obstacles when it came to the journalism aspect (as Carlene likes to put it, working in a “hostile” environment”), producing three completely different articles that I am proud of, getting to finally use some Spanish for real after taking it for years, making incredible friends, and honestly laughing hysterically a vast majority of the time.

I think that’s a true testament to how incredible this trip was. We worked hard and played hard. A lot of dialogues don’t actually involve much work, but that surely wasn’t the case for us. We worked extremely hard- every single one of us. Tons of sources were called, interesting interviews were conducted, pictures were taken, hours of writing and editing commenced before our final products were up on the site. Some of my friends’ stories ended up in the Globe. I am extremely proud of my work, as well as everyone else’s on this trip. Although it may have been rough sometimes, I’m glad that this dialogue actually involved work, because I feel so accomplished as I sit here on the other end of it, and I have 3 new clips that will be great to talk about on future interviews and journalism endeavors. And as the trip involved work, I also had such an amazing time time getting to know the people on this trip. We had adventure after adventure and created more inside jokes then I can count (check out Emily’s blog for a list). We spent hours together, and not just the hours we needed to with class and excursions- I was at the Real World apartment every single night in Madrid. The friends I’ve made on this trip and the memories I’ve made were incredible, and I can’t wait to continue the relationships in Boston.

Not even counting the planned trips and excursions, I found myself in the midst of a student rally, in an office overlooking the Plaza Mayor, at an abortion clinic, in the midst of a crazy Real Madrid celebration,  at polling centers, at an failed political speech, in a 7-floor club, at a rock show for free, and more. While I was in Spain, there were a series of protests, the king advocated the throne, and matadors got gored. There was never a dull moment!

I also want to give a shout-out to Carlene for being such a great teacher and support through this entire experience. The amount of time that she spent with us, editing, helping, guiding- is crazy, and I’ve learned so much from her.

Luckily, I had lots of exciting things to look forward to after the dialogue being over (seeing friends in Boston, my brother’s high school graduation, reuniting with my friends from home, and a trip to Florida), or else leaving  would be even more of a bummer. #PostSpainDepression is very real. But as we like to say, the GTs (good times) were prolific, and this trip is something that I will have with me forever.

And as we joked…

Viva España 🙂

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Light at the End of the Tunnel

The places you find yourself when you are a journalist out reporting somewhere, honestly. On Wednesday night, Shandana and I went off to go visit two music venues in Madrid in hopes of getting some sources for our stories. After riding a million escalators in the metro station (I honestly feel like I am endlessly en route via escalator) and wandering around trying to find the right streets, we found ourselves in the middle of Hipsterville, Spain. After living that constantly lost life for awhile, we found ourselves in a random music school trying to get sources, but it was kind of a bust. Eventually, we found the first venue- but it was closed with no one in sight. Greeeeeat. So we decided to walk to the other one, Siroco, which involved some more not knowing where we were. But to our luck, there was a crowd of people outside it- there was actually a concert that night. Perfect. So,we talked to a few of the music enthusiasts outside for anecdotes, and then we got to talk to one of the promotors, who Shandana interviewed. He then invited us to go to the show for free- sure? So there we were, inside this random rock show, just chillin. The promotor said that he would get us the manager of the venue. So after waiting for a bit and enjoying the tunes, we went back upstairs to talk to the venue manager and a musician himself, a guy named Antonio who was awesome. We couldn’t believe our luck of the night- finding multiple sources that spoke english and going to a show for free. It was quite the adventure.

The next morning, Thursday, I had the press conference at 10 am. So I rose and shone and booked it over to IH to meet Marta. At the press conference, I got a free breakfast (ayyyy) and there were 4 panelists, with TV, radio, and journalists there. The conference went on for awhile, and I was reminded once again of how extremely frustrating the language barrier. “WHAT ARE YOU SAYINNNNG” was basically all that was going through my head (other than when I was picking what questions I wanted to ask when I went to pounce on one of the panelists for a follow-up interview afterwards). After the conference, Marta went up to the remaining two panelists that didn’t bounce immediately and asked them in Spanish if I could interview them. They said yes, and they spoke english. Success! So I interviewed her for a few minutes, and then Marta and I went back to IH. She gave me some quotes that she wrote down and gave me the overall gist of what was going on. After that, Shandana and I took a metro ride and walk to Warner Music to try and get an interview. But after the struggle of finding our way, they said that it was against company policy to do interviews. K… Failure. Back at IH, I was trying to find another source. When I was googling, I came across a professor who literally got his phd in intellectual property online and illegal downloads of music. Perfect much? So I emailed him immediately, and called the campus he worked at. They told me he wasn’t in. I called back an hour later. They said he worked at another campus and transferred me. They said he wasn’t there, and they couldn’t give me his phone number. So it was all reliant on that email I sent, which I normally don’t put a lot of faith in. But I NEEDED this guy! Wanted: Pedro Letai. Reward: Something that’s not euros because I don’t really have much of those these days. But then, somehow, stars aligned. My spanish phone started ringing.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Carly? This is Pedro Letai. You wanted to get in contact with me?”

“Oh my GOD! I’m so glad you called!”

So much for keeping it calm cool and professional, but hey. We had a great interview and I got a lot of good stuff. I couldn’t believe my luck that I found someone with a phd in my exact topic, that he got back to me so quickly (I mean, today I had someone finally respond to my request for an interview for my abortion article…old news), and that he spoke fluent english. #blessed. I couldn’t believe all my luck. As it turns out, I ended up with around 8 or 9 sources. Woa. So last night and today I wrote, and finished- until it gets edited, that is. Can’t believe it, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the article department!

This morning we got to visit a radio and TV station RNE (basically the equivalent of NPR in the US), which cool. We got to go into several of the broadcast rooms, as well as a bunch of show sets. It was a good visit! Despite the struggle it took to to get there- there was a problem with the metro, and Mackenzie and I waited on a platform for over 25 minutes until one finally came.

Now, it’s just editing my last article, doing the paper for my culture grade, and enjoying my last couple of days in Madrid. I can’t believe we go home on Tuesday. Time to live it up!

Ps- in case you missed it, check out our spirit animals- http://emilypollak.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/in-other-news/

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It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN *cue 80s song*

Everyone is down to the wire with their last stories, including yours truly. Stress is running high, and my head feels like it’s going to an explode. A fun thing about writing an article, at least for me, is the following situation goes down:

1) Have about 25 tabs open on both Safari, my default browser, and Chrome, so that the articles and info I’m reading can be translated to Spanish

2) Have every email account open and obsessively check them to see if possible sources are DTI (down to interview)

3) Get annoyed by how cluttered the page of my current reporter’s notebook is, start a new one with the plan to keep it orderly, blow that, repeat

4) Change tasks about a million times because I keep remembering things I need to do, start to do them, remember another, and continue the cycle

5) Hope and pray with every fiber of my being that people will respond to me and help a sister out/my reporting plans for tonight and tomorrow go well

It’s quite the process indeed!

But anyways! What I’ve been up to the last couple of days.

Monday’s lunch was a hilarious endeavor. Mackenzie, Danny, Gina and I were at a cafe when Gina realized that she accidentally took Carlene’s phone with her. So, naturally, the first order of business was to prank call Ian, with Gina pretending to be Carlene and telling him that his article topic needed to change, with 5 new sources, by noon tomorrow. Hilarity ensued. (Sorry, Ian.) We then had a visit to the Senate, which was pretty cool since I doubt many people get to do that in their life.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we had our final lecture, which was on the EU. Then I worked on my article. At night, a group of us went to a place called “El Tigre.” For 6 euros, you would get a drink and plates on plates of tapas. It was delicious, and I was thinking that I might have to make that my frequent dinner spot instead of the Italian place next to my apartment because my money situation will be tiiiiight by our departure.

Today, we had a planned tour of the radio station “Prisa” in Madrid. It was awesome! First, we got to go into the news section of the station, and sit in on a live broadcast. There were a series of people on the panel, and at one point, one of the women stormed out of the room, and we saw her fighting with a producer in the control room. Yiiiikes.

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After that, we got to go out on a type of deck that the employees seemed to go chill on when they had breaks. It had an amazing view of the city of the Madrid. Photo op.

 

We then got to go into the Top 40 music section. In there was a young woman DJ who was extremely hip. She basically was living the dream. She was playing the music, would talk on the air every once and awhile, and was blogging simultaneously. Talking, music, writing, pictures, dressing cool… dream job much? She was extremely nice and helpful, and I was able to ask her questions about my digital music piracy article through Arturo as the translator.

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Tonight, I am going with Maria and Shandana to a couple music venues to try and get some sources for my article. Tomorrow is a big day: when I was doing some cold-calling with Marta (a translator) yesterday, I got in contact with someone from an organization called “Promusicae,” which represents over 90% of national and international activity of the Spanish recorded music industry. When Marta talked to them on the phone, they said “to email them and they would consider doing an interview.” Didn’t sound promising… but I did, and within a few minutes, they responded. What did they say, you may ask? Coincidentally, they were having a big presentation/press conference on my very topic on Thursday, and I could come- and get interviews afterwards. So, I am going to that tomorrow morning with Marta, and when I get back, Shandana (who is also writing a music story) and I are going to Warner Music, a record company. If I need more, I want to go to a record store. Here’s to hoping that my upcoming endeavors go well.

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Only 1 More Week

This Monday afternoon marks the beginning of our final week in Spain, which makes me sad. This trip has been absolutely amazing, and I don’t want it to be over! But as time is drawing to a close, I’m going to take care to make sure I appreciate every moment. So now for a recap of what I’ve been up to the last couple of days.

As I was doing some research about what’s going on in Spain right now to figure out what to do for my final story, I came across some info about how online piracy of cultural goods (things like music, movies, etc) in Spain is among the worst in Europe, and work is being done to try and combat this issue. I thought it would be cool to do a story about digital music:  how the rampant piracy affects the music industry, how average citizens feel about the issue, the progress of the legislation being created to fix it, and so on.

On Friday, our group visited the “Think Tank” of the Popular Party, an organization called FAES. We all sat around this big conference table and listened to a couple representatives. I personally am not a big fan of the Popular Party, who I have learned plenty about after writing two stories in which they played a major part. For my abortion story, they’re the ones trying to pass the restrictive new law. By reading my article, you wouldn’t know my stance on the issue as I had to keep objective, but on this blog I can say how I feel- and that made me dislike the party strongly. In my election story, they still have the majority in the EU despite losing seats.

Friday night, a group of us went to this REALLY good restaurant. It was a buffet type deal where all the food came down on a conveyer belt and you could take what you want: lo mein, fried rice, dumplings, egg rolls, seaweed salad, sushi.. it was delicious.

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Thats alotta food. The rest of Friday was a fun night out. I know I’ve said it a million times, but the group on this dialogue is seriously great. I am basically constantly laughing.

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Saturday, we had an excursion to El Escorial, and walked around inside the monastery for awhile. It was pretty cool, with lots of artwork. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside/weren’t allowed to be very loud, and the security guards were really strict about it. They would essentially snipe you from across the room if they saw your camera out. They were so intense that it got to the point where Mackenzie was swinging her headphones (which were attached to her phone which was in her purse) around, and a security guard came up and told her to stop because “the headphones could fly out of her hand and hit the painting.” Okay… After the monastery we were all starving, and luckily for me because I had precisely zero euros, lunch was included. The plates just kept coming- bread, tortilla espanola, paella, egg sausage and potatoes, meat, dessert.. it was quite the meal.

Saturday night, a group of us went out to a great club, and it was a highlight of the trip thus far. Sunday we had a free day, which was nice. I went to El Rastro, which a huge flea market that they hold every Sunday. It had TONS of vendors. I bought a necklace and something for my brother (you’ll see, Griff ;)) and there was a million other things I wanted to buy.. I’m definitely going back this Sunday. There was a lot of cool artwork around too.

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The rest of the day was lowkey with burritos (aka my favorite food) and hanging out at the Real World apartment. Now it’s grind time for my final article and enjoying my last week in this awesome city!

 

 

 

 

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Parks, Palaces, & People

Amanda, Mackenzie and I are really proud of our election story, especially after hearing Carlene’s praise for it in class the other day. It went really smoothly- ample and successful reporting, and I’ve never turned a story around at a faster rate. It was also the first time I’ve ever written with a team, and it went really well for the three of us.

Yesterday, our group traveled via metro to the headquarters of El Pais, the biggest publication in Spain. We got to tour around the newsroom as well as the room for “AS,” or “Ace” in English, which is their newspaper solely about sports. The Spanish REALLY love their fútbol, which I think is interesting, because America really doesn’t care much about soccer. It was cool to see the huge newsroom that employed tons of journalists. It looked like a really cool environment to work in. We also went to the printing press area, which was pretty wild. Actually, in a weird way, it reminded me of the laundromat basement that Walter and Jesse worked in in Breaking Bad.

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Last night, it was Carlene daughter Lila’s 12th birthday, so we were all invited to a picnic in the park to celebrate. Mackenzie, Danny, Ian and I decided to go get burritos beforehand to bring them to the park. As we left and were walking down the sidewalk, we saw a girl laying on the ground flat on her back like a starfish, completely passed out. We thought that maybe she was a drunk or something. But as we walked by, Mackenzie looked closer at her face, and realized that she was having a seizure. We all looked, and realized that her eyes were flickering and her limbs were twitching. We wanted to call 911, but we weren’t sure what the number is. Luckily, a woman came up to us that spoke english and spanish but didn’t have a cell phone. So, Mackenzie gave her her phone, and the woman called (it actually was 911 in Spain, too). Another man came up and was checking her pulse. Danny and Ian had to hold up her feet. It was really scary. Eventually the man turned her on her side and she came to, and was almost hyperventilating. When we left because we knew help was on its way, we were all very quiet. I found it weird that we were the first ones to do anything, because I was surprised that no one saw her fall to the ground or anything. But, it was thanks to Mackenzie that we even knew what was going on (props to her). It was something very weird to experience. It led me to ponder how life is so strange, and how the things you stumble upon can just be so random and due to chance/seemingly insignificant decisions you make. For example, Mackenzie and I were late to walk down and meet Danny and Ian for food, and if we had been on time, we probably wouldn’t have seen this girl. If our burritos had taken a little longer to make, other people would have been the first to stumble upon the girl. But we were. It put us all in weird moods (and today, I was wondering about her and hoping she was okay). But luckily, we were on our way to the park, which was a lovely time with our group and Carlene’s family. Lila is really mature and well spoken. I couldn’t help but think back to how I was when I was her age… I was obsessed with riding horses and I definitely wouldn’t have been as comfortable talking to a bunch of college kids. Her husband Geoff is funny and an experienced journalist, and her 4-year-old son Cal is SERIOUSLY adorable. We spent the rest of the night hanging out with the group at the Real World apartment (the one with the 6 girls that we all rendezvous at every night).

Today, we got to take a tour of the Royal Palace, which was gorgeous.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, which was a bummer because it was seriously gorgeous. We also went into the armory, which was cool, but we were all STARVING by that point. There is a place by the International House that we frequent and I have the greatest bagel ever there on the reg. Multigrain bagel with chicken, bacon, brie cheese, and guacamole…. love.

Today I walked into the Popular Party Headquarters with Emily to try and help her get an interview with someone there for her anti-semitism article. People there were very accommodating and nice, which I wasn’t expecting for some reason. So far, based on our experience with our election story, I’ve concluded that political happenings are a lot easier to get into in Spain than the US.

Now in these last weeks, I just need to write one more story. I’m hoping it can be something about music. I want to be able to turn it around quickly. I can’t believe I just have one more to go!

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Second Story is Posted Too

The story that Amanda, Mackenzie and I wrote is up too! We did this quickly with a full day of reporting and writing into the night and edits the next day. I’m really happy with it, check it out:

http://northeasternuniversityjournalism2014.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/disenchanted-voters-help-small-parties-take-seats-in-eu-election/

One more story to write from here!

 

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My First Story

So I talked about it in my last post, but I wanna make sure to draw attention to it. My first story was posted a couple days ago to the site. It was quiteeee an ordeal to research, conduct interviews, write, and edit, and after the hours I spent on it, I am very happy. Check it out on the main blog!

http://northeasternuniversityjournalism2014.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/strict-new-law-would-force-women-out-of-country-for-abortions-experts-say/

 

 

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Campeones and More Successes

I’ve been trying to blog for awhile, but uploading pictures with shoddy wifi is actually a nightmare. The last couple of days here in Madrid have been jam-packed with a mixture of both hard work and fun. Thursday night, we went up to this lovely spot to watch the sunset. The golden hour was magical, the views were amazing, and I was often laughing hysterically. I can’t even express how much I love Spain and how fun this group of people is.

On Friday, I woke up before class with Amanda and Maria to go to try and find a protest. We were told that Friday mornings in front of City Hall often had protests, so we figured we would go to see if there was going to be something about the EU elections. Nothing was going on, and it was raining, so it was basically a bust. At least it’s a nice spot!

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After, I was essentially working on editing my article all day. Editing is a process that honestly sometimes makes my brain want to explode. I locked myself in an empty classroom so I wouldn’t be distracted by my friends, and just kept on truckin’. Editing can be so frustrating because there is so much fact-checking, rewording, more research to be done… at one point I was close to tears. Just to make matters more frustrating, when I tried to get to any sites that were about abortion, the International House wifi that I was using would block me as it was a “sexual” subject. I was being censored, and I was screaming about it.  As I worked on edits with Carlene and Dylan and there was light at the end of the tunnel, we decided I should do one more man on the street interview because the ones I had were from Salamanca and this had become a Madrid story. So I did that, and luckily found someone immediately who spoke English and gave me just what I needed. So I called Carlene, told her it was ready to go, and Mackenzie and I had dinner at this Italian place right next to our apartment that we frequent. We decide to treat ourselves and got fresh mozzarella and tomatoes with a type of pesto sauce straight from Italy… I don’t think I’ve ever said the word “wow” at a higher frequency.

Saturday was our excursion to the beautiful city of Toledo. On the bus with a ham egg and cheese breakfast sandwich and freshly-squeezed oj, I knew it was going to be a good day, and I had heard that Toledo was absolutely beautiful- and that it was. The city was gorgeous, and the shopping was great too. I bought a kimono, and I stumbled across a dress that I wanted more than anything but was 60 euros. I seriously considered it but it didn’t happen… I’m sure my parents are happy about that one 😉 We had an amazing several course lunch  that was already taken care of. Mine consisted of wine spritzers, paella, bread, steak and French fries, and strawberries and whipped cream.. no complaints. Great day in a great spot, I just wish I got to see a little more of it despite just the more touristy areas. When I got home, my story was posted!

After the excursion, we were all going to meet up to go participate in the soccer championship festivities. We went down to Plaza de Cibeles, which is where Real Madrid would go to celebrate if they won. The area was already buzzing with excitement. We fought our way into a packed bar to watch the game on the TV and celebrate with other fans. As it was, the bar we were at and the area we were in was a good choice, because Real Madrid did end up winning. The bar went wild, and we went out by the fountain, where a stage was set up. We were among the first people there, so we were near the front. As the night went on, things got increasingly crazier. People were EVERYWHERE. Dancing, yelling, waving flags and scarves, gifting us those scarves and then snatching them back, etc. We ran into the students from our group covering it and said hi to them as they worked on reporting the nights events. We were in it for hours, and not until we started to leave did I realize how it packed it was. Since we got there at the beginning, we were near the front, but the crowd of people seriously must have gone on for a mile, and parts were blocked off. It was really lucky that we were in the right place at the right time and go to experience this insane celebration. It took us awhile to get back, but we finally did. I can safely say this will be a night I will always remember.

On Sunday, Mackenzie, Amanda, and I went out to report, as we are the team covering the European Union election. We went to several different polling sites as well as the Popular Party headquarters to get man on the street interviews, and were very successful and got a variety of different things. I would say perhaps our biggest stroke of luck was when we went to the PP headquarters and I happened to see a random man pull out his camera phone and take a picture of himself flipping off the propaganda. We promptly ran after him to interview him, and as he put it, “It’s bullshit. If you say one thing, say that.” We then had an interview with someone who is extremely knowledgeable about the EU. At around 10, we split up and went to the headquarters of the PP and the PSOE to see what was going on. Mackenzie and I went to the PP and had a pretty weird experience. We chatted with a variety of people. A technician, a videographer, a political science student, some cops, news interviewers that wanted to interview us (no hablo español, and quite frankly, not a fan of the PP and if you read my abortion story, you’ll know why) and some guy who was trying to sell us tennis lessons or something but was definitely on drugs. We got there at 10 pm and didn’t leave until midnight. This was the situation:

It was expected that the leader of the Popular Party was going to speak after results were known to thank the crowd. However, there was no crowd, and apparently, as the midnight hour loomed, no speech. As our videographer friend told us, The Popular Party ended up losing some seats in the EU, so there was going to be no addressing of the public. So we went back, and the three of us wrote until about 3 am. We got back together around 10ish this morning and kept writing. Now it’s on to the editing stage for that one and coming up with my last story.

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Sometimes People Rock

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, thank God for Maria Amasanti. I seriously don’t know what any of us would do without her. This morning, Maria came to my place at 9 am and the two of us took the metro to two abortion clinics that have recently been vandalized to try and see if there were any remnants of that occurring/to try and get an interview with someone at the clinic. At the first one, we talked to the receptionist and waited for about 25 minutes, but the man that could speak to us was too busy working. After leaving, we saw some faded spray painted on the building as well as some fliers saying things like “Abortion is murder” and things like that, so Maria snapped some pics for me. We then took a cab to another clinic, and then all the stars aligned for me- FINALLY! I got a fabulous interview with the spokesperson from the clinic who talked about the history of vandalism to clinics, the history of abortion law in Spain, what the effects would be on women if the law is passed, and so on.

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There was even someone else in the office that spoke english who gave me her number in case I had any more questions. Right now, Alexia has been sitting with me for over an hour translating word for word the interview that Maria and I conducted. I am so extremely grateful that people are so kind and willing to help. This would be impossible without them! It’s on to adding my final source to my article and editing. It’s deadline, baby. Article should be up by tonight. Woo!

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Adios to Salamanca, Hola to Madrid

Our last night in Salamanca was Monday, and I couldn’t believe that two weeks of this amazing trip were already over. We went out for drinks and tapas with Maria and Ramon from Mester, who have been so helpful and amazing to us. They are used to just having kids there to learn Spanish, not a bunch of annoying journalists who are constantly asking “can you cold-call this random person for me and ask them for an interview?” “can you translate this email for me?” “how do you say this in spanish?” “can you find a politician for me?” “how many more questions can I ask you before you kill me?” We all love Maria. Definitely the coolest spanish teacher I’ve ever had.

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We then went out since it was our last night in Salamanca. Late at night we were walking through the Plaza Mayor, and it was the first time that the center of it was empty, because the entire time we were there had been the setting up and hosting of a giant book fair. So I ran into the center for the first time the entire visit, enjoying my last night in this amazing city that I was so happy to get to experience.

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Then was getting up early to head on a bus ride to Madrid. I hadn’t started packing until the morning of our departure (shocker) so the morning consisted of me throwing things into bags. Then was bidding our host family farewell and thanking them for their amazing hospitality over the past two weeks. Half of us on the bus were wearing our new Universidad Salamanca sweatshirts… clearly we enjoyed our time there. Then was a freshly squeezed orange juice on Ramon (he seemed to love buying us things) and another hug with Maria and we were off. Rolling into Madrid with the Beatles playing in my ears, I knew immediately upon entering the city that it was going to be a completely different ballgame than Salamanca. The traffic was heavy and it was much more like a city than quaint and quiet Salamanca, where really the only time we ever dealt with cars was when we crossed a street to get back to our home-stay.

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I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Salamanca anymore…

After we got to our new apartment (pretty nice, single room, 2 other roommates who are both American and have been here for 5 months so they know whats up), Mackenzie and I, operating in a delusional, exhausted stupor, went to a huge store to get some towels so we could shower. After a nap we met everyone at the International School, our new home base, and took a walking tour around Madrid. Totally different vibes than Salamanca, and to be honest I was feeling a little overwhelmed because I really don’t like being lost. I was excited too though, because I love cities.

Last night I worked on my story. Today, we met at IH at 12, and luckily Mackenzie and I didn’t have too much trouble. Then I worked more on my story and blog. Maria called the source that is a great source, but I wasn’t able to get a good interview with because of a bad translation, to try and set up another one. I also discovered that in the last week or so several abortion clinics in Madrid have been vandalized, so Maria and I are going to one tomorrow morning. In the midst of my work I took a little Starbucks break… I was so excited when I saw that there was one here yesterday. After feeling a little culture shock, my signature drink was just what I needed.

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We then went on another walking tour, but it was raining so I didn’t take any pictures. The sights would have been nice in the sunshine though, especially this gorgeous park. Definitely want to go back on a better day. At home I got to FaceTime my mom (and dog) for the first time which was nice!

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Bella is not ready for her close-up.

Tomorrow, I hope my story will finally be posted after final sources and editing. Godspeed!

 

 

 

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