On Friday, I went into Madrid for the first time. This trip ranges from about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on wait-times at each station. It involves a full-line ride from my neighborhood in Boadilla to the 'Colonial Jardin' stop, a change to the 10 line for about 9 stops to 'Plaza de Espana' and then 2 stops on the 3 line to Puerta del Sol, where I was to meet my new friends. Keep this in mind.
The aforementioned friends were not really friends before Friday. I 'met' the first new friend through my cousin, Jennifer on Facebook. This friend's name is Raphaelle, or Raphy as she was introduced to me. She is originally from France and met Jennifer while they both lived in London. She is now living in Madrid and has been for the past 4(?) months. I was apprehensive about meeting her because of one, the obvious--I had never met her, and secondly because there is quite an age difference between us, and I wasn't sure if that would be, uh, weird? But midway through my first week here, after not spending very much time with anyone above the age of 10, I decided to "grab the bull by the horns" and try to make a friend. I told her what I was up to and she was very enthusiastic to meet over the weekend with her and her visiting cousin and the visiting cousin's visiting boyfriend.
So I ventured out on all my metros and met these new people in the middle of Spain. And, what exactly, you might ask, would I do in the middle of Spain with three people I have just met? Why, eat paella and drink, of course! And so we did. And it was fantastic. After meeting Raphy I cannot believe I ever would have been worried about an age difference or meeting her for the first time. It was a great set-up, and I kind of feel like I've known her for years. We had the best, best time eating and drinking and carrying on, and by the end of the night, I was so proud I had not only been able to geographically find these people, but had also been able to collect 3 new friends, one of which being a resident of this new place I call home.
Thank you, Jennifer!
(Raphy is actually not in this picture; I'm on a hunt for the one of the four of us.)
But of course all good things and drunken evenings must come to an end, and unfortunately mine was a little earlier than I wanted to leave. Isabel (the mother of my princesses) warned me that I should allow 30 minutes for the last train I needed to take back to Boadilla, because at 2 am, the metros stop running and Cinderella would turn into a pumpkin. Keeping this in mind, I left our soiree at 1, even though it was still going strong. As I proceeded through each stop, my thoughts raced between whether or not I would make it home in time, and whether or not I had time to find the nearest bathroom. I continued to pursue the former because I decided that not making it home in time would be far more embarrassing than having an accident on the metro at age 21.
But at 1:45, I had made it to the place of my last transition, El Colonial Jardin, to realize my unfortunate fate. There it was, Cinderella's clock striking twelve as she runs from the prince leaving her glass shoe behind - in the form of Spanish security guards making everyone leave the metro station and not allowing me to continue on to my last train.
So there was nothing left to do but swallow my pride, and call dearest Isabel at 2 am to have her get out of bed and into the car to pick me up in the middle of nowhere.
There I was, poor Cinderalla after the most magical evening with her new pals; now nothing more than a pumpkin in a Jardin.
And no, I did not leave a glass slipper behind... only a small puddle on the concrete :/