March 22, 2010 I guess after a few months of living someplace, you stop feeling like a tourist and start feeling like a native. I no longer feel the urge to go out and take a city tour, or buy some cool flamenco dress inspired apron because it “represents” Madrid. Instead, I spend my weekends traveling around Europe, chilling out at home, clubbing in Kapital (the biggest and best discoteca in Madrid) or simply passing the time away like a native madrileño would do. However, this week was not spent in my normal “live-by-the-seat of my pants” fashion; it was spent as Tourguide Alex! With a visit from my cousin, I pulled out all the tourist stops and we hit up El Parque Retiro (basically Madrid’s Central Park). We did some major dancing in las discotecas Friday night, a tapas tour, shopped en El Rastro (Madrid’s oldest and finest open air/ flea market) discovered the jungle in the Atocha Train Station, viewed countless works of incredible art in el Museo del Prado, and even went on the Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Tour to walk on the grass the players play on, check out their locker room, see all of their super shiny silver trophies and fully enjoy the soccer experience. Even though I felt super touristy, I still loved every minute of it. I guess I had forgotten how cool these things actually were. I suppose next time I feel the urge to knock the tourist taking forever to purchase their ticket into the Reina Sofia Museum, I’ll have a little more patience and sympathy. We all have to be tourists now and again.