I have been very lax with my blog these last few days, but I thought that today I would write about what I did on my birthday.
When I decided to come to Spain, I was acutely aware that I would be having my birthday quite soon after arriving, and that it would probably be a bit difficult. Although it may initially seem glamorous and exciting, moving to a new city and trying to make friends is actually REALLY hard. Consequently, I was worried that I wouldn’t have much to do on Friday, particularly as I don’t have work that day. And when I don’t have much to do, I tend to think too much. And that leads to a depressing downward spiral.
Did I miss Australia and my family and friends? Yes, I did. A lot. I think birthdays and Christmas are particularly hard if you’re overseas. But did I have a nice day, regardless? Yes, definitely.
So what did I do?
In the morning, I spoke to Mum on Skype, and then I met my friend Kerly at the Madrid Town Hall. We went to see some great exhibitions there, and to admire the architecture, which is nothing short of amazing.
Then we went to the rooftop terrace and had a celebratory drink, as we looked over the Plaza de Cibeles, and up towards the city centre.
In the afternoon, I met my conversation exchange partner, Carlos, and we went for a walk past the Royal Palace, the Madrid Cathedral, and the historic walls of the city. We then stopped off at Sol for a delicious Italian ice-cream, because, well, it isn’t a proper birthday without ice-cream!
Finally, in the evening, my friend Jan invited me to go to the Madrid Food Markets. Jan is a professional chef, and teaches cookery at college, so he was keen to go and try the 20 different types of tapas. I let him choose what we ordered, and we tried three dishes, including prawn empanadas, some kind of cutlets, and a fancy truffle mash. I’ve got to admit, the finer qualities of the dishes escaped me, but Jan rhapsodised about the “unique flavours”, so I assume they were good.
Yesterday, I went shopping, and I bought myself a present with the money which my Mum had sent me. It’s a cute jumper with cats on it, and I’m wearing it today 🙂
So, all in all, I will give the birthday the thumbs up, although I don’t want another one for a while, given that I am now closer to 40 than to 30! (How crazy is that?)