Love Letter

by Erica, Tufts 1+4 Participant

Dear Spain,

Is it possible to miss you even though I have three months more? The inherent kindness of strangers—their naturally open, welcoming, and talkative nature. The terrazas—why would anyone eat inside when the weather in Madrid is almost always beautiful, sunny, and breezy? The winter sunsets (and sunsets in general). The abnormally long hours of sunlight. The late nature of everything from sleep, work, and school to meals—I feel like I get more out of my day. The free museums—El Prado and Reina Sofia. The social nature of food and meals—people take their sweet time and chat.

The abono card—unlimited access to all of Madrid and Toledo for just 20 euros a month (as long as you’re young and broke)! The informative dancing diagrams on the metro marking every door. The recording of the woman on the metro telling me to watch my step on the way out…what a doll. The Cercanias trains. The abundance of things to do. Madrid tap water!! I’ve never known such quality. The fruterías. The Cien Montaditos and Cervecerías. The music and the way people dance. The fact that loitering in restaurants or cafes is completely acceptable (caveat: El Tigre doesn’t count). The Spanish lisp—I’ve grown to love it and use it(; The primero/segundo plato deals for just 10 euros. The casual beauty in every Spanish city or pueblo. The sunset strolls in El Retiro. The immunity I’ve seemed to develop for gorgeous cathedrals (slightly concerning, but a good problem to have). The ill-fated trips to El Rastro on Sunday mornings to spend all of my money. The one extremely happy, short, little fifty-year-old guy who’s sometimes playing the guitar in the Alonso Martinez metro stop and bounces/does a slight head-bang to the music while continuously grinning. The kebabs—a budget dinner for a standard 3.50 euros throughout the whole city! Patatas. Bravas. TORTILLA. Cocido and padron peppers. Garbanzos and lentejas. The prevalence of chocolate. Pisto—a newly discovered delicacy thanks to my majestic centaur OG travel bud RB. My host sisters’ “restaurant” Foxx—I can dine in for less than ten centimos. Warren and his one-of-a-kind humor and abundance of highly quotable lines. Enrique our sarcastic Spanish teacher. Feeling like a celebrity when I walk past some of the tables at lunch and the kids in my class scream my name just to say hi. The kids in my classes telling me small little details about their lives that they find exciting in the moment. The new student-teachers that I’m constantly meeting. The way people say my name. The besos. The complete Spanish immersion—no matter how much I try to soak it in now, I know I won’t realize how great it is until I leave. Thank you for all that has been and has yet to come.

Un abrazo muy fuerte,


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