Good to be brown
For the past 3 and a half weeks my cousin and I have been living in Madrid. This city is beautiful and has so much to offer to its people but I’m not here to paint the prettiest of pictures for you all. Since being here I’ve falling short of inspiration. I’ve written a few times in my journal and have drafts in my google docs that are unfinished, but today I woke up with a new surge of energy. Not sure what it was, maybe it was the anticipation of going to this Dominican Restaurant we found out here combined with my hunger and the fact that I worked out earlier but here it is and I’m definitely not letting go of it (lol). Before I go on with writing this let me backup a little. In June of 2018 my cousin and I decided that we were moving out of the country. Ever since she and I studied abroad we wanted to live in another country just the two of us. She (her name is Navit, hey sis!) had just graduated from college in May and by June we had already bought our tickets. The first stop was Paris. We bought a one way flight for December 28th (right before new years, amen). So that was our deadline. We had 6 months to get all our shit together. Have money saved up, a place to live and secure a bag overseas. I was already taking classes to become certified in my TEFL and Navit was a bartender/waitress and with a little persuasion there isn’t anywhere in the world she couldn’t work. Ultimately we both decided to apply to work with this company named Babylangues. Babylangues is a company that connects you to parents who want their kids to learn English as a second language in France. I landed an interview with them in August and got the job! I was super excited until we had to figure out our visa situation. With a company that isn’t cooperative in sponsoring you, you can not get a work visa which was a little disappointing but I continued to do research on which was the best/legal way to stay in the country. So I looked into getting a travel visa. It all sounded great until they told us that we had to sign a paper saying that we wouldn't work while being in Paris because you are taking jobs/money away from the citizens there. This was very understandable so my next option was to become students again. God what a dreadful sentence … “become students again”. We literally loathed the idea of becoming students. I wasn’t that opposed to the idea at first but honestly the prices of tuition plus an apartment we just not doable. So with all of these obstacles we thought “okay what else can we do” “where else can we go”. I was feeling super discouraged until one day Navit hit me up saying okay I think we should go to Madrid. Our plan was to travel the EU anyways so we opted into staying in Madrid for a few months. Perfect. So we still went to Paris just for a few days and then we came to Madrid. So like I started off saying, Madrid is a beautiful country but very quickly I started noticing some things. First of all, everything here moves like molasses. The people of Madrid have perfected the work to life balance lifestyle. The start work at 10 am, close from 2-5 pm and just to stay open until 9/10 pm. So the work hours here are much more relaxed than America. Secondly the clubs here OPEN yes OPEN at 12 am and everyone parties until 6 am. I kid you not. We went out once that late and I almost died of a hangover the next day. Another thing I noticed, and this is MAJOR is how racist they are. Navit and I had went to a soccer game and I only really saw one other person that was darkers than myself, and no one else. Then when getting on the train I noticed a lot of people looking at me. Felt very uncomfortable. I noticed it a few other times when Navit and I were out and they would give her free things and not myself or follow me around the store but would also give her something free although we came together. At some restaurants, they have spoken to me in a very rude tone compared to anyone else there. While I noticed this, I looked up the history of racism in Madrid and came across this girls blog and she shouted out another blog that helped her while she was living here called “Las Morenas De Espana”. For all my english speakers, it means “the black girls of Spain”. They have a newsletter and connect POC(people of color) traveling through Spain together. This I found to be helpful and also encountering a few dominicans and asking them where are all my brown people lol. Traveling in Europe I would have never thunk that I would be in a place where “black people” can’t go. I have always thought of Europe to be a little more progressive than the US but what can I expect from a country that says that Christopher Columbus was a hero and not a raping pirate. TEA. I don’t want to leave this off on an bad note so if you are a brown person traveling through Spain, please give these ladies a follow and feel free to email me or send me a direct message on Instagram and I will give you some cool spots I have been to.
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