So in Spanish there are a variety of ways to say that you like something, or that someone or something fits you well. In regards to people, there are two ways to express this. The first is llevarse bien o mal con alguien which means, “to get along well with someone, or not.”
Mi compañero de trabajo y yo nos llevamos muy bien. = my colleague and I work well together
Me llevo bien con mi suegra. = I get along with my mother-in-law.
However, the grammatical structure caerle bien o mal is reserved for first impressions.
El nuevo novio de Silvia me cayó mal. = I didn’t like Silvia’s new boyfriend, he rubbed me the wrong way
So in direct translation to the title above (imagining Madrid with somewhat “human qualities” rather than just being a city):
Madrid, es que no me caíste bien… = Madrid, it’s just that we didn’t really start off on the right foot and you kind of rubbed me the wrong way… /-:
Arriving in Madrid me ilusionaba mucho (I really got my hopes up) that I would somehow recreate the experience that I had in Barcelona. I was sadly mistaken. Rather than get into the nitty gritty details, which I feel to be irrelevant at this point, I’d rather talk about the here and now. Bottom line is that I am not living with my Au Pair family anymore and am currently staying in an apartment close to my language school. I have decided not to look for another family and thus my plans have changed quite a bit…my six month Madrid adventure will most likely be cut in half. So, how do I move forward from here? I would like to refer here to a beloved Spanish phrase, al mal tiempo, buena cara = when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. So with that, let’s focus on only the positives:
· I am living in the center of Madrid! I have easy access to everything including famous plazas and monuments, popular tapas bars and quaint cafes, intercambio meet-up groups (English-Spanish language exchanges) etc.
· The extra free time outside of school and the zero stress of not working (not to mention completely cutting out the 2 hour commute time I would have had living with the Au Pair family going to school every day) gives me time to explore and experience the city, study more Spanish, read, write etc. In short I think that I am going to get just as much out of 3 months here concentrating completely on Spanish and making every day culturally enriching, as I would in 6 months with all the extra responsibilities of being an Au Pair.
· I am really and truly getting a different experience than Barcelona – living in the heart of the city and experiencing city life (rather than pueblo life). Like I said before, I think I was really trying to recreate Barcelona when maybe I should’ve just left my year “working as an Au-Pair in Barcelona” preserved in my memory as a single and unique experience with a wonderful family during a time in my life that was completely different than what it is now. Madrid will be different – that doesn’t mean worse or better, just different.
· I have a great roommate named James, a 40-something, flamboyantly gay flight attendant from Chicago taking a 2 month vacation from the bitter Midwest winter and learning Spanish. He is very entertaining. I also have a sweet roommate named Coralie who is from France. We Americans are extremely outspoken, always cracking jokes and she tries to follow along but we must be incredibly obnoxious, haha!
· I have the support of my teachers and other classmates at my school and the school is right around the corner if I ever need anything.
So, in the words of the famous author Eric Hansen, “onward and upward!” I am gonna give Madrid another shot and hope we can work out our differences.