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Lady in Spain

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Being an Au Pair in Spain.  Posted on 02/18/2014
I cannot even tell you how many emails and comments I’ve gotten asking me about this topic. So I figured a post would be an easy way for people to find the information they want quickly and in one place. So here goes: 1. How did you...
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BEDA 2014-2015 APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN!  Posted on 12/02/2013
Just wanted to leave the link here on my blog for those interested in applying to the BEDA program: ecmadrid.org/en/programs/beda-program/144-auxiliares-de-coversacion/475-solicitudes I believe that it will be open until January 31st. GOOD...
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Beauty Travel Essentials.  Posted on 08/18/2013
This post, I think, is geared a bit more towards the ladies, but I’m sure some dudes could find some of these things helpful as well (maybe not the make-up part, but other stuff). During my year abroad, I discovered a few holy grail...
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Update.  Posted on 08/04/2013
Hello everyone! Just wanted to write a really quick update on here to let you all know that I’ve been super behind in replying to emails and comments. I’ll be getting to the emails tomorrow so if you’ve emailed me and I...
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Italia Part 4 – Siena  Posted on 06/25/2013
I wasn’t sure if I was even going to make a post regarding Siena because we were only there for a few hours…and it sucked. I had, by far, the worst meal I have ever been served in my life there. I’m not exaggerating....
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Flight Woes.  Posted on 06/24/2013
I was so hoping so have a nice, relaxing travel back home…alas, it was not meant to be. My day got off to a rough start with the fact that the service that was taking me to airport got me there at 8:00, roughly an hour and a half...
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Looking Back.  Posted on 06/19/2013
I’m sitting here on my bed, looking around at what has been my room for the past 9.5 months and I can’t believe that I’ll be heading home for the summer come tomorrow (by the time this publishes, I’ll be on a plane...
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Bureaucracy.  Posted on 06/18/2013
There is a lot of paperwork involved when you decide to stay in Spain for another year. The bulk of this paperwork is in the NIE renewal process. It’s actually not that horribly bad…except for all the copies you have to make....
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Italia Part 3 – ROMA  Posted on 06/17/2013
The final part of our Italy trip led us to Rome. Getting the train from Florence to Rome was so easy and nice, especially when compared to the Pisa-Florence train debacle. The hotel we were staying at wasn’t too far from...
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Winding Down.  Posted on 05/30/2013
The end of my first year in Spain is quickly approaching. I can’t believe how quickly these months have gone by! I only have 2 weeks left and then I head back to Maryland for the summer. I have so much to do before I leave and I feel...
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  • dsimmons
    dsimmons 12 January 2013 18:20:17

    There\'s a huge variety of shopping in Madrid, just like there\'s a variety in the US. I found that in terms of grocery shopping, I was able to find nearly all the items I am accustomed to eating (pasta, chicken, spinach, etc.), though some were slightly different. There are lots of small, city-sized grocery stores (Carrefour, Mercadona, Día) around the city, and there are also some specialized stores (ex: The American Store). Additionally, there are many fruit stands, butcher shops, bakeries, and markets. Unless you go to a specialized store, which will be expensive, items will often be different brands. There\'s nothing wrong with that; I thought of it as an opportunity to try some different foods.

    I love peanut butter, and found it particularly difficult to find. Carrefour has it, but it\'s expensive. I admit that every time someone visited me, I asked him/her to bring me a jar or two of peanut butter (must go in a checked suitcase). On the other hand, I enjoyed trying products that I would be less likely to find back home, such as gazpacho, paella, and croquetas.

    For me, a major difference between grocery stores in Madrid and back home was that in Madrid they have legs of pork hanging in the store for purchase. This is common in restaurants there too. Another surprise came when I found that milk is sold in unrefrigerated boxes.

    In terms of clothes shopping (my favorite!), there are also some differences. In Madrid, like at home in the US, you can buy clothes in a wide price range and quality range. Madrid is flooded with shoe stores and clothing shops, and the holiday sales, which extend through January, are great. In general, I felt that clothes I saw for sale in Madrid were more brightly colored than back home. Brightly colored pants, which are beginning to catch on here, were already popular in Madrid when I first arrived there in 2009, and perhaps long before then. It also seemed to me that people in Madrid on average wore their clothes tighter than I observed at home and in other parts of Europe. I don\'t mean to create/perpetuate stereotypes, but I noticed this by observation and because salespeople would always tell me that my clothes were too big when I thought they fit properly. Shopping and chatting with sales people is a fun cultural exchange, a great chance to practice speaking, and a good way to learn about fashion trends in Madrid. Some of my favorite stores in Madrid are Desigual, el Corte Inglés, Sfera, Massimo Dutti, el Rastro (Sunday market), and all the shoe stores around la Puerta del Sol.

    Here\'s a post from my travel blog which covers shopping in Madrid: http://danagoestomadrid.blogspot.com/2012/08/my-madrid.html

    Happy shopping!

  • Global Shopping Solutions
    Global Shopping Solutions 30 September 2012 13:51:08

    Hello, my name is Vicky.
    As an ex-pat I\'m guessing that one of the things that you miss the most is home luxuries. A particular brand of tea, soap, greetings cards etc. These things can be difficult to find in your new country.
    I am starting a new business called Global Shopping Solutions, and I am hoping that some kind people will talk to me about their shopping needs, and hopefully, with this information I can go on to provide solutions for all your needs.
    Please spend a moment or two to help someone who is bored in their current job and is trying to make a better life for herself and her step-son. Can you tell me what shopping is like in Spain, or are you one of many people who return to their home country to visit family, and end up taking a case-full of groceries back with them?

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