Things are going really well on my own, like exceptionally well. Everything feels natural and easy and its so easy it makes me feel detatched. Like is this who I am? Did I really get dropped off by my host dad at the airport in Barcelona on Thursday night, fly to Madrid, catch two metro trains to get to Estrella station to stay with a college friend of my host mom I´d never met before. Is this what I do? How is it possible that this feels so normal to just stay with random people now. I wonder where my awkward nature went and if when I come home it will come back. On Friday the daughter of the friend I was staying with woke me up to show me the bus route I would take to get to el Prado. I woke up a few hours later to an empty apartment in downtown Madrid. I found my way to the bus stop down the street only knowing that I had to get off at a stop that has a fountain with a chariot pulled by lions. I found it, or more than that I guess it was just completely obvious. It turned out to be Plaza Cibeles which is very famous and I had seen pictures of it before but never knew the name. I then walked down a tree lined avenue to find the Prado one my left, without a line and free of charge because I’m under 18. Initially I actually got very angry because I made the mistake of going off in to a small hallway first instead of going down the main hall and thus got trapped off in Neoclassical bullshit land for way too long. But then I found my way out to El Greco, the only religious paintings I think I might actually really love. He is truly insane and not at all from his time. And then there were Goya’s Black Paintings in the basement. ”a symphony of blacks” I overheard a docent say. truer words were never spoken, just amazing. Saturn devouring his son is even more disturbing in person. I think going to Museums alone might just be the greatest thing ever. I spent 4 1/2 hours getting lost in the Prado and didn’t have to bother anyone else with all my art history nonsense. I had a nice conversation with a guard about where I might find Angelico’s Annunciation. So then, feeling like I’d kind of made a friend I asked him if I might be able to steal a painting. He asked, maybe which one? And I said, there is a tiny Goya upstairs in the corner that I love. Its next to his portrait of Charles IV and His Family so no one ever looks at it, really no one will notice. And he just smiled and told me my blonde hair wouldn´t get me everywhere in Madrid. And I laughed because I really never thought it would. ohhh well, worth a shot.
Then in the afternoon I went back to the apartment for lunch and then the family showed me around Madrid a little before I took a train to Guadalajara. I had met the daughter of this family because she was staying with my host family my first week here but no one else. Waiting to be picked up by the best friend of my host father but not knowing who to look for. I can´t decide if its just simply Spanish hospitality that is making this all so easy or something else. I´ve been hanging out with the daughter and her friends because she is my age and its been really fun. We went out to an Irish Pub on friday night. Last night we went to watch one of her friends play soccer and then a bunch more came over to the house to watch the Real Madrid game. It just felt really normal, just hanging around with friends eating pizza and watching a soccer game. Today they are having family over for a big lunch so I´m going to go help the mother cook now!