Caitlin Dewey: Madrid

In Madrid for one reason: food.

Syracuse students go abroad for a variety of reasons. Some are trying to find themselves; some are learning a new language; others are looking to get drunk at a younger age, and in a better location than your standard off-campus dive. I went abroad for none of these reasons. In fact, I'm in Madrid for one thing only: the food.

No offense to Syracuse's many fine dining establishments – I am seriously missing Samrat and Appethaizing right now – but good food is kind of scarce in the so-called Salt City. So as soon as I escaped my fall regimen of classes and extra-curriculars, my very first thought was Spanish cuisine. As much of it as possible.

My parents would probably be horrified if they knew they were spending God knows how many thousands of dollars just so I could get in a few authentic flan. But since I've been in Spain, I guess I've managed to appreciate a few non-edibles, as well: the masterpieces in the Prado museum, innumerable walks through the Chueca district, a counter-intuitive discotheque where kids get down to indie rock as if it were techno.

It's been amazing so far – and no, I don't just mean the tortillas. In all seriousness, going abroad is a life-changing experience (I'm sure you've never heard that one before).

In my Passports posts, I'm going to try to show you what it's like to leave the U.S. for the first time and settle in a city 3,000 miles away, surrounded by a language, a culture and a cuisine that are totally different from your own. Hopefully you'll get the craving to go abroad, too. And if not, you'll at least know where to get the best tapas in Madrid.

Caitlin is a junior magazine journalism, international relations and spanish major. Visit her personal blog at

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