Of all the capitals of Europe, Madrid is the most sun-drenched and lots of sunlight is one of the leading causes of happiness. That is why the Spanish and the Madrileños (Madriders) are a happy lot! And that includes us expats who enjoy 300 plus sunny days a year. Being beamed on by the sun god Apollo almost every day does amazing things for our quality of life barometer.
Americans are envious of the Japanese because they have fewer holidays and work more.
Not the Spanish! One might say the opposite is true, and in fact, the Spanish and those of us who have been accepted for adoption, enjoy more holidays than just about any other nation on earth.
If were brought up in a modern suburb of a city or town, then you may be ready to be seduced by Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, or Cybele, goddess of Mother Earth. Yes, to live in a city surrounded by beauty is indeed a pleasure. The architecture of Madrid, moving from the heart of the old city to the gorgeous buildings of the Gran Via, can compete with Rome and Paris for the range its monumental magnificence.
What might be a half an hour lunch for an American such as a fast-food, down-the-gut-bomb, guzzle-the-fries and hit-the-road, toad… doesn’t quite make the grade in Spain. As the King of Great Britain once said, England expects every man to do his best. The King of Spain’s response would be Spain expects every man and woman to enjoy a good lunch!! Two hour lunches with a siesta to boot is not only the norm, but expected. The range of cuisine here can be mind-boggling with 17 provinces, each with its own specialty and delicacy. And that is why the Menu del Día was created by and for the Spanish people and a law was passed that said every restaurant must have a menu del día at midday with a three course lunch, wine and all for 10-12 Euros. Only in Spain!
When you are surrounded by culture, art and refinement, even if you initially not much interested in it, it can’t help but rub off on you and it helps you become a more cultured person and well as learning a new language and discovering so many new and stimulating things. Whether you like it or not, your soul becomes impacted by the breath of culture that you are exposed to and you become a more in-depth person. And that can come in handy when you are sitting on a bar stool with beer in hand talking to someone you like, because you become more interesting to them, but even more important than for a good flirt, is that you heart and soul expands and resonates through this exposure to culture and this helps you get more in touch with yourself. So through being surrounded by a city that is overflowing with culture, you yourself become a more vibrant person. And this leads to you becoming a happier person.
And …Ooops we forgot…….
Madrid by Night!
In which city of the world do you have traffic jams at midnight on a Saturday night? Only Madrid! And it’s because on a Saturday night (and a Thursday night and a Friday night) Madrid rocks. Whether it’s the cram packed tapas bars, the late wining and dining, the dance till you drop clubs, a Spaniards favorite past-time of hopping from star to star or bar to bar, and then to catch, not a mocking bird, but a Flamenco show and afterwards going out with the flamenco singer who wakes up the Plaza Mayor at 5 am with a heart wrenching with ay, ay, ay, and then off to the San Ginés Chocolate and Churros at 6 am to get the choco fix to make it round the last lap, before heading to bed as the cock crows and dawn breaks over the city. This is just a typical night out in Spain. Once you experience Madrid by night, it is difficult to go back to a city that shuts down at 6 pm. Not Madrid, women are still putting on their makeup at 11 pm, cause Madrid is probably the most exciting city in the world for singles and couples. There’s only one problem… it’s easy to get hooked!