Reality Check

It just hit me. In less than two weeks from today, I will be leaving Madrid. I cannot believe that nearly two months have flown by so quickly. When I first got here, I thought I would have all the time in the world to explore the city and do some of the things that I didn’t get a chance to do last year. Now I´m already making arrangements for my family in London to pick me up from the airport. Okay, I´m not exactly heading home just yet, but that in itself is a problem. When I first decided to take this internship, my mom thought it would be a perfect opportunity to plan a trip to London. The plan was that my parents and siblings would fly from California to London at the beginning of August and I would meet them there a few days later. So, I booked my flights so that I went straight from New York to Madrid to London, back to New York. I figured, no point in going home to California if none of my family and most of my friends wouldn´t be there. Then, a couple weeks ago, I found out that neither of my parents would be coming to London. Firstly, I´m upset that they´re deviating from the plan, and that I won´t be able to see them until December. Second, even though they are family, I don´t like the idea of being in London without a parental advocate. I´ve had bad (nothing horrible, just upsetting) experiences with family members where we´ve disagreed about something and I always lost the argument because I didn’t have an “adult” on my side to back me up. Thirdly, as much as I love my siblings, I was hoping to do a little more exploring on my own, since I´m a few years older this time around, and I think this might be difficult to accomplish because they are still at the age where they need supervision.

So, I´m excited and not excited to be going to London. I´m looking forward to spending more time in the city and seeing my cousins, but dreading leaving Madrid and worried about being in charge of my family. Also, another issue is that my funds are rapidly running out. Let me rephrase that- my funds have already expired and I had to ask my parents for money (this is right around the time I went to Paris. What an expensive, but worthwhile trip!). Now, I think I barely have enough money to survive the two weeks I have left, but I´m going to have to ask my parents for a loan for my time in London. Instead of a grant like they usually give me, I´ll explain to them that I´ll pay them back once I´m back at school working. It will be hard to control my spending when I get to London because I know that I´ll want to experience the city´s shopping scene, not to mention the money I need to save for a new phone and decorating my room when I get back to school.

Money is so tight, that I had to do a little bit of creative gifting. Today, I´m going to visit my host mom, who I have not yet seen during my stay here (completely my fault, I suck at working to maintain relationships with people). She was so kind and generous to me the last time I was in Spain, that I wanted to give her a small gift to show my token of appreciation. The only problem is that I didn’t have any money to buy her a gift (the little bit I have left is dedicated to food, and even then I´m not sure it will last). I searched through all of my things, and found a pair of earrings that I had not yet worn. I plan to give them to her today, and hopefully she´ll like them and the thought will count. I´m really excited to see her and just spend the afternoon chatting and laughing, while sipping coffee coffee, like we used to. Ay Carmencita!