Linda Löfling

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expatlife

Expat Life Inspiration My Paris

A MORNING IN PARIS

Bonjour ma Belle!

You just woke up from your beautysleep and the sunrays are shining softly in your face to promise you a good day ahead. You take a shower, put on your best clothes and as you pass the hall before leaving your apartment, you see a glimpse of yourself in the mirror: you look a million dollar. Sunglasses on and phone, keys and handbag with you as you step out on the Parisian street. You stop to arrange your scarf as it is still a bit chilly in the mornings and while standing there, you observe the Parisians as they look for fresh baguettes at their local boulangerie, take a walk with their dogs and come back from a run in the nearest park. You see their gesturing as they speak with eachother, you hear their typical Parisian complaints about everything from politics to the quality of their croissant this morning and you smile at how all the classic prejudgements you heard about Parisians before you came here, seem to be true.

You start walking down the streets towards your favourite brasserie. Luckily your place, a window seat in a corner is still free and the waiter is someone who recognize you. He smiles at you when you sit down and he proposes you what you always ask for when you come there; un petit déjeuner continental – meaning a breakfast all inclusive, extra everything. You have your coffee, juice, yoghurt, croissant, pain au chocolat, tartine with Nutella, butter, jam, everything you can ask for when you are a hungry girl on an early morning. You get your food, you take up your phone and see that you have recieved a message from a dear friend who wants to meet you later, you can’t help but smiling from ear to ear as you answer with one word “OUI!”. You take up a book you just bought, and before you start to dig in to the “to die for” breakfast in front of you, you gaze outside the window and you see a bunch of tourists crossing the street, their faces turned towards the skyline, pointing. You can see their excited calls to eachother and you understand why as you lift your eyes and you see the Eiffel Tower there in the far distance. One of the tourists spots you as you observe them, she smiles at you and you realize that for her you must look like one of the locals. Just one of the lucky 2,2 million Parisian inhabitants sitting here on your favourite spot in this particular neighbourhood enjoying your breakfast and making plans with friends and you smile back to her as you think about how surrealistic it is that she got that impression completely right.

Greeting and the very best tuesday wibes from Paris <3

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Expat Life My City Tips

MADRID, ONE YEAR LATER

My first time in Madrid was in June 2017, for a weekend with my sister, I remember the city as burning hot, but the ambiance and the people very relaxed. Everything felt very smooth. A good first impression! In winter 2017 I came back again and from there I started some kind of commuting life between Oslo and Madrid and I flew between the countries almost every week for a almost 6 months. Now ‘ve been here permanently for some months and I think it is time for a little evaluation.

Things i really like in Madrid:

  • People are nice. I have met many wonderful and easygoing people here since my first arrival, and I keep on meeting darlings everywhere. Spaniards are friendly, although it is difficult to get into their inner circle and become close friends with them, most probably due to the language barrier. I do have the feeling that they are all pretty helpful and open minded, though. I will get back to this evaluation about how Spaniards really are as friends if I ever become good enough in Spanish to be able to talk with people here hehe.
  • The city is big, but also small. After living in Paris and then Oslo, Madrid feels like the perfect size. I like to walk when I have to go somewhere, and here I can go by foot to most places, it is also a short bus ride in to the city center, Campus, or wherever I need to go, yet it is a lively city with a capital feeling and that is something i really appreciate. Pulse, dynamics, something to do at every hour, Madrid has it.
  • Eating out can be REALLY cheap. Lunch outside for 12EUR? Yep, possible in Madrid. A coffee for 1,50EUR(OK, quality is so so but anyway)? Yep, also possible. I love good quality food, but I also love eating OUT as often as possible, then I can agree on a more simple lunch and a coffee that is pretty tasteless, from time to time, only to be able to chill on a nice terraza with a friend or do people watching for a while.
  • It is a pretty city. I knew absolutely nothing about Madrid before going here, and I got surprised over how beautiful it actually is, and how many pretty buildings, monuments, parks etc. there are to admire here. I could definitely recommend a weekend trip here for anyone interested in city life, good food and some touristing!

 

 

Things I like a little less about Madrid:

  • The price of rental apartments combined with the average salary. While some things are really cheap in Madrid, the price for your home may be a nightmare. Prices are actually as high as in Oslo, but the salary like three times lower. I honestly do not understand how Spaniards do to afford to live in the center? Did they all heritage some millions from their grandparents?
  • The quality of the food. Ok, I said that I can overcome the quality of the food sometimes, if I can have it outside and hence eat something new and maybe different, buuuuut…ok, first I want to point out that there are many, many really nice restaurants in Madrid with high quality food, but now I talk about like an average bar or café here, then I must say that I am often dissapointed. I often see friends here getting all freaked out about patatas bravas or a slice of jamon, but I have difficulties seeing the yummy in fried food or food with no taste, and here – almost everything comes fried and with the least possible effort made to make it taste something. I know Scandinavia is not famous for the food scene, but I think we have made a great progress and we care about quality a lot. Go to a café in Scandinavia and you often find really nicely prepared sandwiches or salads. I have to be out even more and discover the cafés in the center of Madrid, they are still a bit unknown to me. Will come back with a guide later, so that you can avoid eating fried food all day long if you come here for a visit.
  • The labour market. It isn’t a secret that Madrid has a high unemployment rate, and between foreigners like myself, the chances of getting a job is of course much lower than for a Spaniard. I have the impression that this situation affects us foreigners a little, or a lot depending on how our economical situation looks like of course. In many of my the groups of people that I met so far, people complain about how hard it is to even get to the interview and obviously it makes you feel sad if you left a comfortable situation back home only to come to get so many doors locked in your face. I hope that it is only a question of patience, and being persistant enough to not give up. I have faith in that foreigners are needed here and that hopefully many of the ones I know, will get a profession soon.<3

Other than that I have nothing negative to say about Madrid so far, it has been and it is smooth and easy to be here and to live here. I see people as less stressed than in Paris and more relaxed and smiling than in the Scandinavian countries – is it due to the almost non stop shining sun?

 

 

That was a little evaluation so far about my Madrid life, if you have any questions about Madrid, Spain, how to get here, what to do here etc. : Stay tuned! I will continue to update on these topics, and I am working as well on a little guide about the expat life. To be continued!

Buen Día all of you! Thanks for reading!

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