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A Catalan in Madrid

A Catalan in Madrid

This is a guest post by Maria Climent, a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to become a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no-one and a better person. She also cooks her meals.

Metro Madrid

A unique and awesome experience is leaving everything and engaging a new life. It may sound stupid if we are talking about going just 300 miles away from home and not even leaving the country. But, yes, sirs, that’s what I did.

However, my exploit goes a bit further if we take into account that since there’s democracy in Spain, Catalan and Spanish relationships are not in their best moment. Much is unknown between the inhabitants of that proud little nation of the North East of the Iberian Peninsula and the not less proud Castilian people who hold the title of capital city of Spain, until one leaves their small, protected-by-equals region and adventures to live in “enemy” territory.

I had never been in Madrid. Never ever, and I had no special attraction for going, frankly. But I had finished my degree and wanted a change. And, like at random, a company called me for an interview there when I hadn’t even sent a CV. On my train ride there I just decided I would give Madrid a chance, no matter whether the interview was right or wrong. (The idea of living again in my town with my mother didn’t appeal me at all).

As soon as I arrived, and after calling home to say I would not come back the day after, I rented Madrid accommodation and there, once I had left my insignificant luggage, my adventure started. An adventure that lasted one year. And let me tell you something: it was the best year I have ever experienced.

It was not only not knowing anything about the city, nor having any acquaintance to call or to ask for advice, but I had no job and not much time to find one if I didn’t want to come back home before expected. And here was the challenge. And I was a 22-year-old-Catalan girl.

In one month I got two jobs, one as a teacher of English and another one as a waitress in a typical Spanish tavern. I ended up living in the amazing neighbourhood of Malasaña (ancient place for the Movida Madrileña), in a tiny attic where I didn’t fit standing and had to have showers sitting on a stool. But I didn’t mind. I was so happy and motivated that in few weeks I had many friends – friendships which I still keep – and everything seemed to be on track (I guess that’s what people call good karma).

Coming back to prejudices: contrarily to what I expected, people I met from Madrid were extremely kind to me and they were amazed with my profound Catalan accent, they even tried to imitate it. After months of talking to a lot and very different people on the apparently grave problem of nationalities in Spain, I concluded that press and politicians have too much to do with people’s opinion on the others. In fact, we were (and are) just people, whether we are in Madrid, in Barcelona or in Sidney. And controversy exists as much as they want us to believe it.

So, relax, do not pay much attention to media’s gossip, rent accommodation in Madrid and enjoy its people and its free tapas with a beer.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

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