You know this scene in The Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch screams, “I’m melting!”? Well, let’s just say that if you live in Madrid right now, you know exactly how she feels. Although, to us, a bucket of water dumped on our heads sounds pretty nice right about now.
With temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit this past week and no air conditioning to be found, everyone I have talked to has nearly melted. And people back home keep telling me, “Well Kasey, there’s no humidity, right? It can’t be that bad…”
Well, it is.
Despite the lack of humidity, I don’t think I’ve ever been hotter in my life. The sun is so direct that even minutes in the sun can turn me into a tomato (okay, okay, I know that isn’t too difficult for me, but still). The kids (and teachers) can’t even be in the classrooms right now and have to find reprieve in the halls or outside because it’s simply too hot. Oh, and we can’t even have fans in all the classrooms because then the electricity would go out altogether. The walls in our apartment trap all the heat inside, so the fans don’t even do much. Our faucets shoot out hot water because all the pipes within the walls are too hot for the water to cool off. I even heard a phrase: En Madrid, hay 9 meses de invierno y 3 de infierno, which translates to, “In Madrid, there are 9 months of winter and 3 months of hell.” The heat has made us go all but crazy, so we’ve done things like:
- Take 4 showers in one day
- Go through 3 bags of ice in one week
- Stick ice down our shirts
- Empty a spray bottle and fill it with water to mist ourselves
- Put our pajamas in the freezer while we shower
- Freeze a wet towel and wear it around our necks like a scarf
- Stick our legs out the window to feel some air
Heck, even the kids got directly sprayed with a garden hose at school just so they could cool off. Poor things…luckily there’s only 1 more week of school.
Alright, enough about the heat. It’s making me hot just thinking about it. Here are some other more interesting and less complainy things about the past few weeks:
Last weekend, Lauren and I flew to Dublin to meet up with her mom and aunt for a mini weekend vacation, or holiday as they would call it. We stayed in Bray and had beautiful ocean views from our hotel. We spent the days eating and drinking away (of course roast dinner and fish & chips were involved) and admired all the beauty Ireland had to offer. I tried my first Guinness, which was surprisingly good! The weather even decided to cooperate with us, and it only rained a little bit. It was a great, relaxing weekend. I love spending time with Lauren and her family; they’re like a second family when I’m so far away from my own!
With our time in Spain quickly coming to an end, Lauren and I are trying to spend as much time together as possible, so the other weekend, we went on a roomie date in Madrid! We checked out the Feria del Libro de Madrid, which is a GIANT book fair in Retiro Park. After that, we went to the Museo Nacional del Prado, which is a giant art museum in Madrid. We checked out some famous works by Goya, Velásquez, and El Greco, and other artists that I studied in Spanish classes way back in 2010. It was a great day spending time together.
Anahí told me that we can’t leave Spain without having a Spanish day, so she invited Lauren and I over to her house the other week so we could hang out in her backyard enjoying tinto de verano and Spanish snacks. We even had a guerra de agua (water fight) with her girls! She then taught us to make a typical Spanish dish called tortilla de patata, or tortilla Española. This is an egg and potato dish that is commonly served as a tapa. Once we learned how to make it, Lauren and I decided, hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we, and American and a Briton, made the dish and brought it for all the teachers at our Friday lunch? So we did, and what an adventure it was. Everything went without a hitch until we got to the most difficult part: the flip. Anahí and other teachers had told me that their first attempts at flipping a tortilla resulted in a giant mess of egg and potato and onion all over the floor, so you can imagine that we non-Spaniards would be a little intimidated by the task. Since we didn’t have a plate large enough to cover the pan to flip it, we had to use the lid of the pan which isn’t ideal because of its curve. So I went to pick up the pan and realized that it was way too heavy for me to flip one-handed! I started freaking out and getting really nervous, but I counted to 3 and boom, a successful flip! Only a little chunk hadn’t made it out of the pan, but we managed to squish it back in, no problem. We even got the stamp of approval from the teachers the following day, woohoo!
Let’s just say that the end of a Spanish school year isn’t the most productive; combined with the heat and the absence of Trinity pressure, we’ve been taking it easy most days! We’ve had a couple field trips lately: one to an animal rescue center to learn about the different rescued birds, and one bike/scooter trip through the town with police escorts. We’ve also been practicing our end of the year performances a lot…they are this week, so wish us luck, lol!
Even tutoring had been a lot of fun the past couple weeks! Because it’s been so hot, we’ve been having class in the girls’ swimming pool in their backyard, playing games in English and just having fun. I’m really gonna miss my tutoring families!
– T-minus 13 days until my dad arrives in Spain! My friend Minorka and I had been planning an end of the year trip before we went back home, but unfortunately, med school requirements got in the way and she has to go home earlier than expected. So, my dad is coming to travel with me! We’ll be going to Brussels, Ghent, Berlin, and Prague, and I couldn’t be more excited!
– T-minus 24 days until I’m stateside! I can’t believe my time here in Spain is coming to a close so quickly, but I’m looking forward to seeing my family, friends, and boyfriend soon.
Wishing everyone well and hope you’re doing a better job at beating the heat than I am!