Saturday, 29 August 2009


Part Five
May and June 2009

A view of Madrid from the cable car which runs over the west part of the city. The river is called the Manzanares

Back in March, a classmate taught me a phrase she claimed was sometimes used for early good weather in Madrid: Cuando en marzo mayea, en mayo marcea. It roughly translates to: "When you have May weather in March, you'll get March weather in May." I was a little wary of this phrase, to be honest, and my suspicions were confirmed once May came around. What rubbish: the weather only improved over the next few months!

The good weather made my university experience even more enjoyable, especially as the year was beginning to wind down and exams were on their way. Unusually for me, I had done my reading, and was prepared for the few exams I actually had: I had chosen my classes wisely, since most of them were coursework-assessed, meaning that I was able to hone my essay-writing skills (albeit mostly during all-night writing sessions the day before deadline). The results showed, and when I look back over my academic experience, the second semester far outweighs the first. Despite my complaints about the system and certain methods employed by the university in handling its students, I really enjoyed studying at the Complutense and will miss it.

Meanwhile, back at home, everything was runningly smoothly. As housemates, we were all getting along swimmingly together, socialising outside of the home as well as having friends over regularly. Everything was going so well, even the bureaucratic fiasco I had been suffering ever since I arrived in the country was solved. I felt so settled in Madrid, I began to wonder how I would cope with leaving. As the end of the year was drawing nearer, I needed to think about my plans for the summer and beyond.

I eventually found work in two schools, one starting in July, the other immediately, alongside teaching my faithful private students. While the classes would see that I wouldn't end up on the street, I also planned to go on a few weekend excursions and spend the extra time reading and doing some writing. I'd have to move to a cheaper flat for summer, though, since my term-time money from the government and my UK university would stop flowing.

With everything running along smoothly, these months turned out to be my most peaceful and stable, and were probably the happiest of my time, here. Which was a shame, because with my imminent return to the UK coming closer, it was bound not to last. Although I hadn't ever reached the lows of Autumn or Easter, Summer would turn out to be a fun, yet tiring experience...

Reflections Series

Part One: Summer and September 2008

Part Two: October and November 2008

Part Three: Winter 2008-09

Part Four: March and April 2009

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