I’m alive! Sort of.

Hello, world! I’ve resurfaced from three days of hectic reporting and writing – as in, taking the train to semi-deserted neighborhoods, Google-Translating documents in Spanish (seriously, Google, you’ve got to do something about that service), absorbing information about the housing and financial crisis from what felt like 100 different experts, and sitting in a corner of our class HQ just banging words away for five hours – and my third (and last!) story is in the works at last.

Geoff, Carlene’s star reporter-TV host-superdad husband, will help me edit tonight, and with his genius and a bit of luck the thing could be up before the weekend. (I hope he doesn’t read this before editing and think I’m sucking up so that he’s not too hard on me. That’s not what this is… or at least, not too much, anyway. 🙂 )

Now, note that by “a bit of luck,” I mean, like, a LOT of luck: Everyone’s on hyperdrive working on their stories, and as I’ve mentioned before, the pressure is on. Carlene and Dylan have their work cut out for them the next few days as they try to edit and publish something like 15 stories. I wish them energy and good fortune.

Meanwhile, I’ve got about five days to do everything I want to do before leaving Madrid. Those include:

  • Visiting the Museo Nacional del Prado, which happens to be the most prestigious art museum on this side of the world besides the Louvre;
  • driving a Vespa (shoutout to Olivia here!) (and also, I’m sure it’s perfectly safe, Mom);
  • getting free tapas with my drink at El Tigre;
  • buying some Real Madrid items for my favorite science whiz and sports geek back in Boston;
  • grabbing a drink at a rooftop café;
  • hanging out in some of the cool bars they have in the Malasaña/Lavapiés neighborhoods, of which I hear there are many (I need me more free days, seriously!);
  • and chilling on my roommate’s balcony with a bottle of wine (or three), which we did last night and definitely need to do again.

So now I have a list; the goal is to get through it all. Oh, and I have a three-to-five-page paper due Sunday for my culture class. (What, you think I’ve been going on all those excursions and trips for nothing? I get school credit for that!)

Speaking of excursions, we had an interesting visit today at the headquarters of one of Spain’s newer – though influential – political parties, the Unión Progreso y Democracia. Two of their representatives – one of them newly-elected to parliament – spoke to us about party objectives and Spain’s economic and political state. They had some great quotes that I, being the nosy journalist that I am, noted down for future reference – meaning I’ll probably blog about them later today.

So close to freedom, I can taste it!

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