Upside Down World: Two Cities

As I grow older I realize that in the short amount of time I have been residing on this Earth, I have experienced many things a lot of the people I like to spend a lot of my time with have not. Ask any of my closest friends and they can tell you some pretty unique stories about me. I used to think I was very boring, that I had never done anything out of the ordinary. Moving to the states made me realize that there are still many people alive today who haven’t flown in an airplane, other’s have yet to experience snow, some may have never ridden a train! Not to say that some may have less exciting lives than others, but essentially to point and differentiate how unique each of us and our stories are. 

Moving away from my country really did flip my World upside down. I went from being an only child raised by a single mom in the beautiful city of Madrid. Surrounded by the most loving and caring friends and family. Attending a private school, in which the whole class, a group of around 20 kids stuck together like glue considered themselves best friends for life. To a new land, I had to learn to call home. Acquiring the fatherly figure I had always wished for as well as the company of my younger brother’s bright soul. No friends, no family apart from your parents and your brother, and not to forget no communication from the outside world. I have to admit that the last part was pretty easy considering I got used to living in the tropical city of Miami. Learning English was not that much of a nightmare as you would’ve thought.

What can other cities learn from Madrid Central's mistakes
image by Smart Cities Blog

Let me draw a smaller picture for you, in order to show you how much my life changed since moving to the States, I want to share what my day would’ve looked like in both cities. While you read these schedules, remember this is the day of an eleven-year-old girl going through a large transitional period in her life.

City: Madrid 

Year: 2013 

Day: Thursday 

Morning:

7:40 am Mom’s first attempt to get me out of bed. 

8:00 am Mom finally drags me out of the bed, after multiple failed attempts. 

8:05 am Bathroom time. Brush yo teeth! 

8:10 am Stare at the closet in hopes of finding something to wear. 

8:25 am Mom finally convinced you to wear those new pair of jeans you’ve been hiding for months.  

8:30 am Strolls by the kitchen convinced it doesn’t it exist. 

8:35 am Running to the bar downstairs and having my usual with my friendly neighbors. ( Yes a bar! No not a beer special! Cafe con Leche on a glass cup with  chocolate elephant ears ) 

8:45 am Mom is still too scared to drive her car so we walk to school.

8:55 am We’re arriving at school, met up with my grandparents halfway and said good morning.

9:00 am Made it to school just as the bell rang, to be greeted by all of your friends. 

image by: Gastronomic Spain

During the Day:

9:15 am Class begins, surrounded by all of my friends. 

12:00 pm Our first recess begins, snack and playtime with friends. 

12:20 pm Class begins again. 

2:00 pm Lunchtime, three-course meal with multiple drinks. Eating at the same table your whole class is sitting in. 

3:00 pm Lunch is over, recess begins. 

3:30 pm Recess ends, go back to homeroom to end the school day and review homework. 

4:00 pm School’s out! 

4:30 pm Dance class begins. 

5:30 pm Dance class ends.

5:40 pm Mom is at work, your friend’s mom is taking you to the park to play.

5:45 pm Snack time, jam, and cheese sandwich.  

6:00 pm Arrives at neighborhood park with friend to play. 

7:30 pm Mom picks me up at the park. 

7: 35 pm We drive home. 

image by abc.es

I read that schedule multiple times today and think wow, what a life! I mean I did it all. Not only did I get enormous amount of time to have fun with friends, eat nice meals, and stay focused on my academics. While still participating in extracurricular activities on the daily. I can’t believe I did so much as a kid in just a single day. 

Later that evening: 

8:00 pm Homework time. 

8:45 pm Shower time. 

9:00 pm Novela time with mom. 

10: 00 pm Pasta for dinner. 

10:30 pm Brush yo teeth! 

10:45 pm Bedtime. 

Usual night, I got to spend some quality time with mom while still getting things done. It looks like a very rigorous schedule, but actually very fun to experience. Missing Novela time on the couch with a good bowl of pasta in my hands. Now let’s fast-forward a bit and change up the scenery. 

image by: outfront media

City: Miami 

Year: 2013 

Day: Thursday 

Morning:

5:40 am Mom’s first attempt to get me out of bed. 

6:00 am Mom finally drags me out of the bed, after multiple failed attempts. 

6:05 am Bathroom time. Brush yo teeth! 

6:10 am I put on the same boring uniform. 

6:25 am Breakfast on the go. 

6:30 am Dad drives me to school. 

6:45 am Dad and I listen to the radio on the way to school. 

7:15 am School starts. 

I guess we can all agree that my mornings in Miami are not nearly as interesting as my mornings in Madrid. I miss the warm feeling of breakfast with friendly neighbors. The hassle of picking an outfit with mom. I did gain some quality time with dad, although sleep deprivation is surely kicking in.

During the Day:

7:30 am Class begins. 

12:00 pm Lunchtime, it’s lonely. I don’t really enjoy the food. Very bland lacks flavor. 

12:30 pm Class begins again. 

2:20 pm School ends, mom picks me up and we head home. 

3:00 pm Snack time, finally some good food. 

3:30 pm Homework time. 

5:30 pm Watched TV.  

7:00 pm Shower Time. 

7:30 pm Watched TV in the living room. 

It’s crazy to look back at my old schedule and see how little I did now that I had moved than how much I did before. I feel like my lifestyle definitely changed dramatically and that is what makes both cities unique to me. 

Later that evening: 

9:00 pm Mom’s new recipe for dinner, Argentinian empanadas. 

10: 00 pm Brush yo teeth! 

10:30 pm Bedtime. 

image by: recetas de cocina

Living in Miami, Novela time with mom was an activity we stopped practicing. With the arrival of my younger brother and the hassle with the move my mom had a lot more in her hands than expected. While she tried handling cooking and taking care of my brother and I, my brother and I watched TV together instead.

The underlying significance to this very detailed post is that although I’ve lived through drastic changes in my life, I’m still able to appreciate the small rays of sunshine that come with difficult times. As they say, ” You win some, and you lose some”. Although I moved away from my friends and family into a new space, I gained the love of two very special family members. My life in Miami now has obviously drastically changed, and although I don’t have a whole classroom of friends the handful that are by my side help me create the most beautiful memories.