Day 6: Probing, The Finer Set, and Revisits

Today I had to go get a Covid test and I got to see another ritzy area of the city.

I woke up and cleaned my apartment and repacked which was quite sad.

After cleaning, repacking, showering, and getting ready, I set out to get a Covid test. I got a covid test on 31 January 2020 after finding out I’d been exposed on my birthday and tested positive but I’ve since gotten both vaccines and the booster so I haven’t been tested again.

I booked this trip so impulsively that I didn’t look up all the requirements but I saw on my way out that I had to get a test in order to come back. I panicked a bit but Google Maps (and reviewers) told me to go to Clinicas Vieco. It’s a cosmetic clinic right around the corner from the Supreme Court. It’s open from 10:00 to 8:00 and I showed up around 2 but they were out for lunch. I went and sat on some steps outside the court house next to a super cool legal bookstore (if I hadn’t tried History, I would have loved to have been a lawyer specializing in maritime law).

After about 35 minutes, I called the office and they answered so I walked back. I got an antigen test for 30 and had the results in 10 minutes. The lady at the desk was super kind and comforting and she wasn’t rough when she administered the test. If you are in Madrid and need to get a test this is the place to go (don’t forget to take your passport-I assumed I would need it since it was a medical procedure and I wasn’t wrong)!

After the test, I walked back down Paseo del Prado (this is an area where all the rich business people and civil servants work so all the restaurants and cafes are super swanky) to barrio de Las Letras. I went back to Casa de Diego and ordered something different this time: Jarrete de Cordero. It was so good and this is BY FAR my favorite restaurant I’ve visited or walked past in Madrid. It’s in a nice area but the prices are great and the food is phenomenal! I had a full meal with bread and 4 glasses of wine (with accompaniments) for 22.90.

Casa de Diego

I walked back down Calle de Atocha and went to “my” coffee counter one last time for an espresso and dessert and then stopped back by the Church of the Holy Cross to say some prayers of petition and intercession.

After all of that, I came back to my place and finished packing up my carry-ons and gathering the trash. I have to take it out after 8 PM because they don’t have fixed dumpsters here–from what I gather, the department of sanitation brings the dumpsters after 8 and collections them at some point throughout the night.

When I took down the trash, I went back to La Carboneria (formerly Harry & Sally) and had a couple of Vermut de grifo, They were 60 cents cheaper tonight even though it was way busier. I went back to the mini-mart (what you would call a bodega in NYC is a wine store here and a mini-mart or NYC bodega is an “alimentacion” and I don’t know why or how) for a snack and a couple of beers to spend my remaining euros. I did the best I’ve ever done this time and only have 90 cents left!

All in all, I spent 372 this week. With airfare and the AirBnB, that comes to $1,645. My tax return was $1,200 so I spent $445 for a very full and entertaining week in Spain. Absolutelyyy worth it! I had two nice meals and I drink–I also wasted a lot of those groceries I bought. If you skipped all that and stayed in a cheaper area (my AirBnB was smack dab in the most popular area) you could easily do this (or any) trip for way, way cheaper.

Tomorrow is airport day. I’m not too nervous since I’ve figured out the metro system this week but it will be interesting to see how check-in goes with the Covid test results.

I am going to try to write more when I’m back in NYC so please consider subscribing and of course, follow me everywhere else (click the button for links).

Side note: If you know ANYONE who can get me an EU work visa for ANY job (cleaning, elder care, marketing, academia, literally anything) please contact me. I want to live here (and no, it’s not a passing urge–I’ve wanted to move over here since about 2010).