Hay un estarbucks circa de aqui?
Madrid is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe. It just baffles me that there aren’t more Starbucks. You walk around New York and you see a Starbucks on every corner—three if you’re in Astor Place. It’s such a change to be here, where there are maybe ten Starbucks in the entire city. I know I drink too much Starbucks…like most people in New York, when the caffeine is that readily accessible, you figure why not?
I didn’t notice this void right away because I spent a week in a Madrid hotel with my parents located in the prime location, right across from the Prado, located right on top of a Starbucks. I woke up got my coffee and went about my business for the day, much like I would have in New York. It wasn’t until my parents left that I realized that Starbucks was much harder to come by in this town.
One of the first things NYU Madrid had planned for us was a historical tour of Madrid. Upon its conclusion our tour guide asked if we had any last questions. After ascertaining that nobody had any real questions, I nonchalantly asked if she knew where I could find a Starbucks. She laughed—what they said about Americans was true: they have this fascinating obsession with Starbucks. I was in no mood to deny that allegation—after all here I was scouring the city for one, what could I possibly say? She didn’t know where one was so I spent a good amount of time wandering in search of one. I finally came back to my room defeated. There was no Starbucks to be found and, more surprisingly, when I asked people on the street, they seemed to have no idea what I was talking about (even when I referred to it as “Es-tar-bucks,” as the Spaniards do)!
On our tour of the Prado a few weeks later we had the same tour guide and, when she asked if there were questions, I raised my hand. “Let me guess,” she started,”Where is the nearest Starbucks?” she continued, a grin on her face. “No,” I replied, “I did m research, I already know where it is!” and proceeded to ask my real question. One of the coordinators from school was with us and lamented the lack of Starbucks near the school. I proceeded to tell her the whereabouts of the closest one, including the route best taken from school. She laughed; I told them I wasn’t kidding, there are few enough locations in this city that it is entirely possible that I will leave this city knowing the whereabouts of every single one!