Monday, July 01, 2013

My first Couchsurfing experience

My plane just landed at noon, oh God, in Madrid it's so fucking hot. I pull out my phone and call my couchsurfer: "Hi Andres, I just landed!". "Andreea, stay in the bus station, I'll be there to pick you up in 10 minutes!"
Andres picked me up from the airport. We arrived so quickly at his flat. He showed me my room (his living-room), the chicken, the bathroom. "You can take from the fridge whatever you want because now my house it's also your house!". He asked me if I'm hungry and we decided to go in some places from the neighborhood, where he eats all the time. I took my sunglasses, he gave me some tan screen because in Madrid the sun it's very hot and we went to the local bars. I asked Andres to show me how they live a custom day and to take me only in noncommercial places.

In the first place we went we started with two cervezas. "We enjoy a lot the foam of the beer, the glass should have half foam and half beer!". In fact the guy who served us the beer was knocking a flat spoon to the glass, to make more foam. Also, if a place has more napkins on the floor, it means it's a good place to eat. Great, I'm in the right place! Let's started! :) Before ordering something we received for free some olives and sardine. In fact, in all the places we eat we received a little small thing for free, thing that surprised me a lot! :) We eat small tapas, with their wonderful chorizo and ham. After this we moved in another place for eating tortilla de patatas, witch is like an omelette with patatoes.  They eat a lot of food with patatoes, because after the war finished Spain was very poor and they had to invent some cheep food, and and hence arose potatoes in their dishes. 

We took a short siesta, because after such a meal we had to be lazy a little bit :) Then we woke up and go out for other meals and drinks. We started in a place from the city center. We eat a very delicious octopus, cooked with olive oil (a lot of their food is made with olive oil) and of course, another Cañas and Tapas. Cañas means small glass of beer with a strange specialty for me: a lot of foam. Usually we try to escape the glass for the foam but they like opposite. Then we moved in another place, a small nice bar where all the walls was covered by posters. We drank there Mojito, maybe one of the best Mojito I ever drank. But the night was still young so we went in another place, like a club with loud music where I tried the experience to drink and not smoke in the same place. And it works guys, trust me! :D

Next day I woke up first and because I found nice not to leave the house without noticing my host I left a note on the fridge with my plans for the next hours: going to the city center for walking and buying souvenirs for my friends. I took a common breakfast at Starbucks with Coffee Latte and a spanish sandwich while I was watching the bustle of the city. An old lady from the next table started a conversation with me (In Spanish) about the weather and I answered her in few words I know: "Si, Creo que va a llover" (I think it's gonna rain). Andres called me when he woke up and asked me if I'm hungry and I want to take another tapas in the city center. 

So, here we started another hang out through the city, with a very nice terrace in the city center for coffee, then a sky bar for the Gin Tonic they took before the dinner. 

This sky bar was amazing, you can see all the city and the mountains from there. After this we eat again some tapas then go out for drinking in a Cuban Bar, with nice life music and people dancing and enjoying the music. Then we tried to find a bar with Jazz music, but it was close so we stopped near, in another bar for trying more Mojitos :D After this we went in a Piano Bar witch was the best Piano bar I ever saw. We spent there maybe 2 hours, not very common for Spanish guys who love to move from a place to another all night long. The singers was people from the bar, everybody was sitting near the big piano, singing, dancing, drinking. I saw there a lot of different faces, starting with young people, old people, fancy ones, rappers, stylish, an so on. It was a very nice mix of people brought there by the same meaning: joy for life. This picture was amazing, was one of the picture who changed my life and my perspective, it was the picture I'll review all the time when I'll be sad or not so happy. 

So, Madrid it's a great city. People enjoy spending time in the bars, or walking all night long. Spanish people are very friendly, very optimistic and full of life. They like to enjoy life, this is one thing I realized also in my first visit in Madrid, but now I could feel it in my own skin.

Next days I moved to my hotel where my colleagues was hosted too, because the purpose of my trip was working :) Nevertheless I had one of the best travel experiences of my life and I strongly think that you can discover a city only showed by locals, you won't ever find those places in travel guides. 

So, gracias Andres por el buen tiempo que pasamos juntos y la paciencia que me muestran estos lugares ('s Google translate, it's not me:)

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