My host family is still absolutely amazing. My host mom and I have had some super personal conversations lately, and it made me realize how much host families really let you into their personal lives. For most of them, their house and their families are all they have. It's not like in America where you have a house in upstate NY, maybe somewhere in Florida, or anything like that. This is their house, their ONLY house, and it is a very valued possession of theirs. Not only do they give you an inside look at their home, but they let you live in it, and become a part of their lives. My mom has really opened up to me about things that happened in her past, and I've done the same as well. If this sort of thing kinda creeps you out, by all means you don't have to do it! But for me, I love to talk, I love to learn about other people and about what makes them who they are, and my host mom is giving me the opportunity to really get to know her and become a part of her life.
So I must tell you all about my first encounter with the beautiful city of Madrid. First off, as I mentioned in my previous post, Madrid is about half an hour away by train which is awesome. My friends and I decided we were going to spend a whole day/night there. The trains are kind of confusing I'm not going to lie, there are so many different trains at the station when you walk in and I'm just used to the Long Island Rail Road, having one train to wait for and not having to think much about it. But thankfully, my friends had a much better idea of what to do than I did. Anyways, we walked around the Puerta del Sol area in Madrid for a few hours, where you can find a LOT of different kinds of entertainment. Anything ranging from clowns and jokes, to people dressed up as dogs laying around on the ground. There was actually a guy blowing giant bubbles, bigger than your body, and trapping people in them and stuff. Seeing Madrid was such a cool experience for me, because I'm so used to New York City. As many of you know, you have to constantly be walking fast, no one pays attention to any of the entertainment that you pass on the streets, and I feel like everyone is just angry about tourists! But my friends and I were walking at a snail's pace, taking in everything around us, stopping to watch stuff as we pleased, and NOT getting yelled at by people behind us! It was rather refreshing.
At night, we decided to go to a club called Kapital, which is actually really famous in Madrid (known for its tourist visitors). It's a seven-story night club, each with a different genre of music on every floor. They even had live entertainment at certain points in the night, and they blast the crowd with a cool air mist every once in a while. It was absolutely AMAZING! Nothing like the night life in New York, not even in NYC! Everyone was having an awesome time, everyone was dancing, and the place itself was absolutely gorgeous. After we left, we had decided to stay in a hostel. This happened to by my first experience ever with a hostel, and I didn't know what to expect. We booked a 19-bed room which is considered really big. The beds were all bunked; it kind of reminded me like a college dorm room. But the hostel we stayed at, Cat's Hostel, is a 'youth hostel' and is geared towards the younger crowd. They have a lot of events that they organize to get people together, so if you guys are ever interested in meeting new people and staying over in Madrid, definitely check out Cat's Hostel. It was super cheap too. We met a few people from France, someone from Germany, and a girl from Malaysia who we actually wound up inviting out with us! Hostels are definitely places unlike any other, but the concept is awesome. My friends and I loved Madrid so much that we're actually going back tomorrow night, so maybe I'll have more stories for next time :)