While my roommates spent their weekend in Majorca and Portugal, I took the opportunity to go on a “free” trip to Madrid by myself through my study abroad program. I say “free” because although I didn’t have to pay for the round-trip train ticket, hotel room, or dank breakfast buffet (consisting of pastries on pastries, all the juices you could imagine and a FIRE cheese platter) I still managed to spend some dough on the weekend.

Unlike some people who ate one chocolate croissant and nothing else, I took full advantage of the open buffet.
Unlike some people who ate one chocolate croissant and nothing else, I took full advantage of the open buffet.

I was hesitant to travel without my three closest friends/support system in Barcelona, but exploring by myself was so rewarding. It tested my social skills, ability to navigate a foreign place, and allowed me to self-reflect and appreciate the grandeur of studying abroad. I was responsible for nobody but myself, and could do whatever I wanted to do.


 

Friday, Day 1:

The meeting time to board the train was 8am, but being the socialite that I am I arrived at 8:20am and was successfully fashionably late. Fortunately the wonderful teachers who organized the trip saved my tardy ass by planning ahead and ensuring we all arrived before the train actually left at 9am. I wiped the sweat off my brow (and off the side of my face, and underneath my boobs) and released a sigh of relief.

I sat next to a student, let’s call him *Jesus (name changed to preserve his anonymity). I attempted to make small talk with him but was met with hostility and anger. What a douche, I thought, before eavesdropping and finding out that he had his wallet stolen from him the night before had every right to be in a shitty mood.

A few hours later we checked into Hotel Tryp. My assigned random roommate chose not to board with me, which at first I found completely offensive. I was hoping whoever I was randomly assigned to board with would open the door to new friends, but she stripped me of that opportunity. Presumably because she found me so grotesque that she couldn’t manage one weekend with me, or most likely because she was really intimidated by my good looks – I’ll never know.

A kid I had met the night before at a restaurant happened to be on my program, so I latched onto him and planned to lunch at El Tigre, a restaurant that a peer recommended. He invited his roommate to come along, so I was excited to meet someone new; my ex-roommate could go fuck her uppity self. The roommate turned out to be none other than Jesus, the kid I sat next to on the train! We ended up having a lovely conversation over lunch and all bad feelings were forgotten.

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Beer and free tapas at El Tigre

If you go to Madrid, El Tigre is a MUST! Essentially you pay for a 5-euro beer, which sounds pretty pricey, but the drink comes with a complimentary plate of tapas. The more people you bring with you, the more food they give, so go with a huge group of friends! If you don’t have any, McDonalds is an alternative option.

After a quick walking tour of Madrid I drank sangria and ate tapas (you can never have enough tapas) with a group of Penn State girls who welcomed me into their crew. They invited me to go to Teatro Kapital with them at night, a seven story high club that Madrid is famous for. The cover fee is $20, so if you’re on a budget (like I am) I wouldn’t recommend shelling that out twice a week, but it’s definitely worth the trip.

We pregamed at some guy’s apartment before going to the disco-tech. One of my new friends had to use the bathroom, so I joined her even though I didn’t have to go, because rule #1 of womanhood is that ladies must go to the laboratory in pairs. There wasn’t any toilet paper which was a problem because you can’t really drip and dry post shitting. She used one of the boys’ white towels on the ground, and then attempted to shave off the brown stain with a razor. The experience totally bonded us.

As friendly as they were, it’s difficult to feel comfortable among a large group of best friends when you’re by yourself, so eventually I ditched the girls I came to the club with to dance on the ground floor by myself. The music wasn’t amazing, but the entertainment was on point. A nearly naked guy hung from the ceiling and performed fabric acrobatics – it was SO dope, I wish I could show you guys but I didn’t save the Snapchat video I took.

Teatro Kapital
Teatro Kapital

When I had my fill of radio’s top 100 hits blasting at da club, I left the club. After a series of unfortunate events consisting of two cab rides and a pit stop at McDonalds for drunk food I arrived safe and sound at my hotel. Apparently Kapital was on the same street as my hotel, but I gave the driver the wrong hotel address and paid for two unnecessary rides. Pro tip: make sure you know where you’re headed to before getting in a cab.

I may have ended the night alone and squandered the opportunity to utilize my hotel room, but all you really need in this life of sin is a Whopper with a side of French fries, right?

Stay tuned for parts two and three of my #madridtrip!

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