I’m two months into my Iberian adventure, and I’m starting to feel somewhat homesick. The past 3 weeks have been hectic; I’ve changed families, started an intense Spanish course, and trebled my work load (more on that in another post). I am loving life in the city centre, but there are a few things I miss about the UK…

Autumn
Yes, I’m British and I will start this post complaining about the weather.The temperature in Madrid dropped from 28 to 10 degrees in a matter of days, and I’m feeling deprived of my favourite season. 28 degrees in October is great and all, but not when the metro seems to have switched off the air con and your morning commute underground is more akin to a dirty sauna than your regular train. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that to Spaniards 28 degrees is cool, and you subsequently feel peer pressured into donning long sleeves and jeans in order to not stick out like a sore thumb. I will of course have to get used it; next year I’m moving to Singapore, where it;s 35 degrees aaaaaall year round…

Flavourful food.
Spaniards love their cuisine. I unfortunately do not, and actually I don’t know any au pairs that do… The heavenly thai red curry I had for dinner last night reminded me of just how much I miss eating different cuisines every other night of the week. I love cooking, and throughout university my cupboards were always half filled with herbs and spices that I’d include in every meal. Now the most exciting thing that can be added to a meal in pimentón and salt. Granted I am vegetarian and I haven’t allowed myself to experience the famous Jamón they keep telling me about, but I can’t help but think a bit of cured ham would trigger a revolution of my pallet. Churros, tortilla, pan con aciete y tomate, and pasta are simple comfort foods that are nice, but easy to get bored of after a fortnight. Once I feel less awkward around the housekeeper I’m going to start experimenting in the kitchen again, but for now my taste buds a glum and yearning for more curry.

Housemates
I wasn’t that gutted to leave uni, but I do miss being surrounded by my friends and being able to spend entire days in our PJ’s watching movies and bad TV. My bank balance and I also miss pre-drinks. Being an au pair has many perks (free food and board, in a nice house, in a great locations), but I can’t wait to be able to invite friends whenever I please.

Free Water
What the heck is up with paying 2-3 euros for water in a bar or club? A shot of tequila is cheaper, and my head is not grateful for it.

Pavements free of dog feces
This is something they don’t warn you about in the Madrid Lonely Planet. The amount of dog feces I find myself dodging on a daily basis is disgusting. I’ve never encountered so many dogs in one city, and it’s amazing how their owners allow them to make the middle of pavements their personal bathroom. It gets worse the further away from the centre you go, as at least in the centre the streets are cleaned almost daily. It’s grim.

And that’s about it. If you are or have lived in Madrid, what did you miss about home?

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