As of last Wednesday, I am now living in Alcorcón, a small city just south of Madrid — it’s about a 20 minute drive from Alcorcón to the Madrid city center. And it is absolutely beautiful here!
Alcorcón is full of parks and wide, well-kept sidewalks. And there are actually people in the parks and walking around at all hours of the day, unlike in the States! And get this — there are no traffic lights or stop signs in Alcorcón! Every intersection is a roundabout with a fountain or vegetation in the middle, and roads tend to curve in and out of these intersections instead of meeting at rigid, perpendicular angles. The structure of the roads creates the impression that everything in Alcorcón flows smoothly along like a river.
The way of life here seems more peaceful overall, too — shops really do close for the siesta, and people take the time to enjoy the parks or sit at an outdoor patio and drink coffee, or just relax on one of the many benches around the city.
So far, I love it! I love all the trees and parks —I have spent an inordinate amount of time in the parks — and I love being able to walk wherever I need to go.
In the past few days, I’ve opened a Spanish bank account, purchased a phone plan, explored the city, gone out to eat, recovered from jet lag (kind of) and found the school I’m going to be teaching at. Now the only thing left is to find a permanent place to stay! Apartment hunting is very stressful — wish me luck!