Hola! Thanks for stopping by.
For the past four years, this blog has been my attempt to put my finger on just what is so irresistible about living abroad in Madrid. Don’t worry, you won’t find any stale Spanish stereotypes about sangria or bullfighting. Instead, you’ll find such things as musings on the Spanish language, lesser-known Madrid parks, and the undeniably Spanish experience of ordering coffee in an old-man bar. I like to infuse my work with humor whenever possible–partly because I’m sarcastic, but mainly because many aspects of living abroad naturally appeal to the funny bone.
At Madrid’s Parque el Capricho
Who is this Gee, Cassandra person?
As you might have guessed, my name is Cassandra. I’m originally from Arkansas (USA) and have called Madrid home since 2010. Interestingly enough, my name is not common neither here nor there. In fact, in Spain there is a famous witch who goes by the name Cassandra. It’s enough to make a girl say “Gee!”
Dwarfed by Roman ruins in Mérida, Spain
How did you end up in Spain?
That is a very good question. Can the answer be traced back to my insatiable love of reading, learning (and by extension), traveling? The fact that Spanish was the only second language offered at my high school? The way I wanted to tag along on the study abroad semester my classmates were planning?
Yes, let’s start there. I was deathly afraid of missing out on all the fun my college classmates were going to have in León, Spain. I arrived in this region in the dark days of January, which promptly burst any ideas I’d had of Spain being an eternal land of sun and sangria. Instead of being disappointed, I was charmed. At the end of those six months, I already wanted to go back to Spain.
In 2010, I won a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Spain. (Actually, “won” sounds very passive and lottery-like. In reality, I spent as much time on my application as I did on a college class, had a nerve-wracking set of interviews, sealed and shipped the app, and then nervously fretted for 10 months before the news came in.) I was elated when I found out I was chosen. Madrid–where I had only spent a weekend previously–was to be my home for the school year. I stuffed one lone bag with 25 kilos of clothes, my favorite dental floss, and teaching supplies, and flew back to Spain.
A street in Madrid’s Conde Duque neighborhood
Fast forward, please. What has happened since then?
This blog was birthed at the beginning of that Madrid adventure. I’ve got a soft spot for the Spanish capital, you see. The more time I spend here, the more I enjoy it. Sometimes I want to tear my hair out at the bureaucracy and the lack of customer service, but I do love everything else this European capital has to offer. I especially love the variety of the different neighborhoods. I want you to love it, too!
My Fulbright year was just the beginning. Since then, I’ve taught English in Madrid through various programs. I got my Master’s degree from the University in Alcala de Henares. I went back to teaching English. Whenever spare moments–and money–were prevalent, I traveled all around Spain and Europe.
There’s no denying I’ve changed as a person since my arrival in Madrid. My Spanish has changed, my outlook on life has subtly shifted, and I’ve amassed experiences (read: funny stories) as an English teacher. Last but not least, my bio would be incomplete without mentioning my boyfriend, Andrés. We meet when he came to Madrid to complete a Master’s degree, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Andrés is from Colombia, and you’ll find stories of our South American adventures here, as well.
Visiting Colombia’s Barú Island
So, to recap:
On Gee, Cassandra you will find…
….Madrid as a springboard for exploring Spain and Europe
…odes to the highlights of la vida española
…English classes gone awry
…confessions of the hair-pulling cons of life abroad
…photos and reflections for all of the above
You won’t find…
…recs for a life of luxury
…photos with flash
…any photos of the blogger in a flamenco dress
…tips for snagging a Spanish girlfriend/boyfriend
…posts about the Prado, bullfighting, or sangria
Keep in mind that this blog is NOT an official Fulbright, Department of State, nor Comunidad de Madrid website. The stories, photos, and information presented are courtesy of yours truly and do not represent these programs.
Your questions and comments are welcome. Leave me your thoughts!