Day 294 – 23.04.2012 – Cinema Times

Word on the Street was that Hunger Games was supposed to be Immense. So I bought the books from Amazon, and got them delivered to the Office, read them in like 3 days. 😀 Then was waiting for it to come out in the Original Version (in English) in the cinema.

Monday morning when I got to work, my friend (KM) informed me that it was finally out in English, and if I wanted to watch it tonight. I thought….why not. Clearly I have nothing better to do with my time :p

It was a very good movie, it did the book justice, it wasnt like HP (where they ruined it in the film), but it was very very good.

I have mastered the route to get into Sol (or general center of madrid area). I could get the bus where it goes straight, I can just sit on the number 1 and it takes there. Or I take Cartegena, to Gregs, change lines, go to Alonso Martinez, then change. You may think this is longer, but the change is very quick, the lines arent far apart. So it takes me just 20 mins to get me to Gran Via!




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Day 297 – 26.04.2012 – Boom. Khalaas. (ok its not a very good title, but I really wanted to write it…)

These past few weekends (well I say few, its really been since January), I haven’t really travelled much, ok Valencia and Alicante have happened, but apart from that not much really. I guess because its been cold, I mean you don’t really want to go to a cool place and your just wrapped up. And also, the travelling hype has worn off, I would rather sit in bed, and do my own stuff on my computer.

So really what I have been doing is, watching way too many movies and tv shows, by that I mean is literally sitting or lying in bed watching episode after episode, just on a roll of whatever tv series I am on (at the moment its 24), and on the side its pp (AHD you get my drift). Its been a good couple of months.

Also my iTunes library has expanded, which I am quite pleased about. This is of course thanks to work, where it is socially acceptable to have earphones at work, and youtube is not blocked, so just from one video to another, I have saved them then transferred them onto my iTunes.

I would like to think my other blog (GeniusITM) is going places, by that I mean that people are visiting my blog, traffic is quite good considering I don’t blog as much as I used to. These past few days have been quite good, and I have uploaded a few things (see below).

Just thinking about what I have left to do, in Madrid or Spain. I have to buy souveniers, you know standard fridge magnet, keyrings for my Peeps, post my postcards (that have been pending for more than I month, I don’t have stamps…), visit Toledo. And that’s about it really, maybe if something comes up then I will add it to the list. There are still other places I want to visit, namely Chinchon, and Caceres (other towns in Spain), but if I get the opportunity I will go, if not, life goes on.

Dead excited the folks are coming to visit me, its going to be so Good.

I would like to think my cooking is getting better, I made mince the other day, and tasted good, was you know a little bit better than edible, I thought it tasted awesome (you know because I cooked it), but it wasn’t too bad, could have used more masala, but nevertheless Awesome…My bateto saak is coming along nicely, this time it only needed more chilli I thought, but still Goooood. Last week I made fine green vegetable saak (that’s what it said on the tin, the veg I mean), and just made it in standard masala, surprisingly good.

I don’t think I will ever publishize (is that even a word) this blog, and make it famous for the world to see because at this point in time, there is no need. It was created so my family and friends could see what I get up to in Spain, and read it to their hearts content. Maybe one day, but at this point in time, its unnecessary.

So I know many of you are waiting for some pictures to be put up namely of Barcelona and Alicante. My excuse is… I forgot. Simple as. So inshallah (if I remember after posting this post) I will put them up sometime this week.

I may have mentioned this before, I cant remember, but if I have I will repeat myself. AIG hire a lot of trainees, so ‘students’ on one year contracts. However, these students do not have to be placement students like myself, some have finished their undergraduate, and some have done their masters. So its very cool that I am basically working alongside people that have done their postgrad, and i havent finished my undergrad :p

AIG is in the middle of a residential area, and so you walk out of the building, you get just normal people on the street as opposed to businessmen. This works out quite well for me because the food is cheap. So the bocadillo shop, I get atún con queso brie (tuna with cheese) for 2 euros. Also the menu del dias (Menu of the day) is 10 euros max. Whereas if you go Plaza Castilla (The business district), you can pay about 18 euros for a Menu del Dia!

So usually on Friday people tend to go out to eat for Menu del Dia. Last Friday I made plans with a friend, and it turns out many of the other interns were going to the same place as us. This ‘restaurant’ was Turkish, and they sell Donner and things, but the Menu del Dia is the Shiz. I went last time with VD, and it was just too good. It helps that its halal, and I can eat everything on the menu. Anyway, 2 friends of 2 work people had come to Madrid to visit them respectively. One (employee) was a graduate of the same university as me, and their friend (P) was from my uni and was in my year. I didn’t recognize P at first, well I did but I wasn’t sure. It turns out P recognized me which was really cool. And we just chatted about placement, travelling, you know…the usual :p

Well…this post was longer than anticipated.

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Day 291 – 17.04.2012 – Update on Life…General Shenanegans…

So this post is more an update on my life, because I havent posted in a while.

As has been mentioned before, there is a fruit lady who comes round and sells fruit and yogurt. I have a usual and she is really nice and remembers what everyone usually wants. Mine is Activia yogurt, either Mango or Strawberry, a banana and two satumas.

I eat cereal at home (Big up to Cheerios, and Carrefour who sell the stuff), then at 1130 I have a yogurt and a satusma, lunch at 1 and have lunch and a fruit, then at 330/4 I have my last fruit whatever is left. #HungerTimes

One of the best things about working at AIG is that very few websites are blocked, so things like youtube arent blocked. Its socially acceptable to have earphones in your ears while working. So just surfing youtube I have found bare Tune-age. Exciting times 🙂

There is this place near work called El Campero, which sells I guess ‘home food’ sort of, not sure how to describe it. The only thing I can eat is Tortilla Patatas, and if they have the fish, which comes with potatos. The woman is really nice, and picked up really quickly that i dont eat meat, so she always offers the fish dish, and apologises if she doesnt have any fish. So IR told me that apparently she is Jewish, thats why she knows I dont eat meat. But of course this is just rumors, because someone else told IR thinking that we wouldnt go there anymore because she is Jewish. But I say better Ahlul Kitab than Athiest.

Bare going to miss Madrid when I leave, strolling in at 930, Nelly the fruit lady, the fun that is our Spanish lessons at work. Just Fun-ness.


So you know when your a regular at your meatshop, when you know they have hired a new person. Yesterday after work I went to buy meat namely mincemeat and chicken. Anyway so the new man just looked at me as if I was about to ask him for meat,  I will like uh no, I will go to my usual person. So the Usual was like Hola Laila (they know my name), Que tal? I said bien y tu. And we had a mini convo (I cant remember what it was about), oh yeh it was about work, and did you just finish, are you busy etc. So mashed the meat to become mince, and then started on the chicken. And he said when do you go back, to England. I said June, and he said you will come and say khz. I was like awwww, of course I will. Man my butchers are Coool. 😀


I have to give a big thanks to AhlulBayt TV who I have commemorated Fatemiyah with. This time last year I was helping the ETC in B listening to AAR. Thanks ST for letting me help out.

Credit is due where Credit is deserved

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Day 282 – 08.04.2012 – Cena en Lavapies

So IR and ZT invited us to go for dinner. Reminded me of university, we we just randomly go out to eat. Went to Lavapies, the waiters bare remembered us from last time, I guess a table of 12 really rings a bell.

Anyway we went in, and for some reason, even though there was 2 sets of groups already there, it was like silent. So we blatently annouced our presence, ok thats an exageration, we werent loud, just louder than everyone else…

We were talking in english, but when the waiter came over, he was speaking english, but ZT ordered in Spanish, so the waiter was so confused, then IR ordered in Urdu. The waiters face… Too Good. Made my day…the little things in life :p

Line of the day:
Discussing Delilah’s: The salmon place, right!

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Day 279 – 05.04.2012 – Bank Holiday

So this week is Semana Santa, which is Holy Weekend. So we have today (Thursday) and Friday off. It. Is. Awesome. It was a 3 day week, and then we get the end of the week off. Today feels like a Saturday, but its not…its a thursday. Its incredibly cool.

Sadly I am not travelling, I have to write an essay for university. So just doing that. And jamming of course. Standard 😀

—Alhamdullilah —

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Day 273 – 30.03.2012 – Alicante

Alicante Day 1 – Friday

Left work early to get the 620 train (!) from Atocha to Alicante. Bare going up in the world, going on a train. On the train was raving it out to Mulla Ammar Al-Nashed

This Land, This Land, This Land is a Universe…

…Abbas is the moon, Zainab is the earth…

…I am Abbas, I am from Haider Ali…

…I charged, I charged my lips drier than the sun…

– Mulla Ammar Al-nashed

If its time to pray, its time to pray. Can add to my awesome places I have prayed on: Renfe train.

Once we got to Alicante, we had had dinner at Ginos which is this Italien place. It was good, I had pasta with Veg.

We took the taxi back to YA place because we had missed the last bus. The train station was in Alicante itself, but the Villa was in Gran Alicant which was about 10-20 mins away. This was where all the Villas and holiday homes are.

We then crashed in front of the TV and watched Micheal Mcintyre (such a Don).

Day 2 – Saturday

When we woke up we went to the Supermarket which was 5 mins away to grab breakfast and lunch food so we wouldn’t have to eat out.

Got the bus to Alicante, saw the port, and went inside some ship that looked like a pirate ship.

Standardly prayed wherever, so Zohr and Asr was prayed on the Dock of Alicante.

The Girls got their hair braided, then headed toward the castle. The Castle viewpoint reminded me of a combination of Barcelona and Granada. Barcelona because of the viewpoint, you can see the city on one side then the dock and the beach on the otherside. But Granada because of the shape of the inside of the castle. My personal opinion though. Although I was feeling the Lord of the Rings Vibe just because I had watched all 3 movies just the other week.

We walked down the beach and through the promenade, and took the bus home. We had chai on the veranda (I think that’s the right word).

Salaat was prayed on the roof (sort of) under the open air, last time I did that was when I went to IE for Al-Quds day in Ramadhan.

Went for Dinner at this Dutch Restraunt. The Food was So Gooooood! I had the prawn starter and Veg Lasagna. It was So Goooooood!

We came home, crashed in front of the tv (do you see the pattern :p) had chai and banana with melted choc (tastes better than it sounds).

Day 3 – Sunday

Woke up Araamthe (at 12…maybe because we went to bed so late…just maybe…). Bare watched The Big Bang Theory then Gavin and Stacey, the others were outside sunbathing, I don’t really feel the need to go brown, I feel my current colour of brown is brown enough for me. Literally we just chilled all day at the Villa, then headed out to grab some food then go to the train station, but we had to time it right because buses leave every half an hour.

We ate fish and chips in 15 mins flat, it was so good, but im pretty sure we all had indigestion afterwards, just because we ate so fast because we had to catch the bus back to the station. Then Madrid is Home :D.

Alicante is a very English city, everyone speaks English, and you can see it being an Expat city.

Thanks for letting us crash at your place YA. It was much appreciated. Had an awesome time, thanks again 😀

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Day 268 – 25.03.2012 – Well and Truly Madrid Times.

Inshallah on Friday we are going to Alicante. But I am going straight from work to the train station, so I figured it would be wiser for me to collect my tickets beforehand, and allow the running (although I reckon there still will be some running…)
I had to go to Atocha, the last time I went there was with Sana when we went to Segovia, that was back in July! Man time has flown.

I went to Maoz and there were a fair few Tourists, it remended me when I first came with Dad, we were one of Them. I would like to think I am no longer one of them, I feel I have a grasp of the Spanish Language. Thank you Dad for pushing me to learn Spanish.

So there is a straight bus that goes from town to Home and I had just missed it, it was waiting at the traffic lights, but the bus driver was kind enough to open it for me, and I got on. This is nothing like Brum, where if you miss it, you miss it.

By the way, its Hot, well not Baking, but its getting Hotter. It rained last week, so now it will only get Hotter. The AC was on in the Bus, its a sign that its Hot.

The Bus went passed Retiro (Park) and you could just see it was rammed. Loads of people just go there to sunbathe and sleep. I am already brown, I dont feel the need to become brown-er, and allow sleeping on grass, I have a perfectly good bed at home to sleep on…

I have said this so many times, and I will say it again: The Abono is Too Cheap.

This post goes out to my Parents: Thanks for raising me up to be such an Awesome Person. #TrueDat.

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Day 261 – 18.03.2012 – Burgos

This weekend is a bank holiday weekend, meaning on Monday (tomorrow) is a bank holiday. This will occur every 2 weeks in until May. This is approx, but nevertheless its alot. Im not complaining, its a good life 🙂

We were supposed to go yesterday (saturday) to Burgos, but we woke up abit late, and would never have made the bus because we still had to buy the tickets.

So I went today (sunday) to Burgos, I was a little hesitant, because its a sunday, and everything is shut on a sunday, and it was a bank holiday weekend, but nevertheless I bought the tickets for the 9am bus, and the 530pm on the way back, I figured this was plenty enough time to check the city out.

It took 2 hours 45 minutes to get there, you may think that is Long, but as I have mentioned before, I am offiially Immune, so it went rather quickly. Bare tunage going (AAR, MAN, MAF).

Thankfully the part of the town where all the stuff was to see was right near the bus station, so obviously the first thing to do is to check the huge cathedral you saw on the way in. I have to say that Cathedral was Majestic (thats the only way to really describe it). Me being a student, got discount, and went inside, I gotta give it to them it was really nice inside.

Lord of the Rings Reference where Elrond shows Arwen the future where Aragon (son of Arathorn) dies and his body is kept (well the shape of it)

Mary, mother of Jesus bare wearing Hijab.

This made me laugh. This is their equivalent of a tourist bus, it was a train. I so would’ve gone on, but you had to pay, and I didn’t feel the need to part with any cash at that point.

Strolled to the tourist office, because thats the logical thing to do. They always ask you where are you from, I assume some sort of Poll, I always get a kick out of their surprised face when I say Madrid.
I wanted to check out this Palace, so I started to go a direction which I assumed was the right one. It wasnt. But i found the Old School Walls, reminded me of Avila.

Finally got on the right track, and I found the Mirador aka viewpoint. It was very cool, you could see the whole of the city. And so the logical thing to do was to sit down, eat my lunch, and read Then I was Guided.

Saw the outside of the palace (not the inside because it was closed) and of course took the standard tourist photos.

I decided to disriguard my map, and follow my nose, (tbh I just wanted to go for a general stroll). I walked up this Long street with loadsa shops, of course all of them were closed except for the bakeries.
Once I got bored of this (ok I never got bored, but it was getting cold and rainy and I wanted to go somewhere where it was warm), and I headed to the direction of the National Museum of Evolution. It was….Boring. So not my scene. But they did try and make it interactive, but really I was Bored. But I did wonder what is the position of Evolution in Islam. Yes, I know God created All, but do we believe in any element of it?

There was loads of these statues around, they looked really lifelike, ok I know thats the point of them. But it reminded me of Doctor Who, with Chistopher Eccelston, Episode 1 where the Maniquens came alive. (I’m quite impressed by this btw, in the middle of my life story in Madrid, I can quote Dr Who and its relevant to the text – AHD squared, Im sure your very impressed).

On the way back to bus station, there was a man selling churros. They looked so Good, so I bought Churros con azucar (sugar) con chocolate. This vendor stuck up a conversation with me, where are you from Morocco, Tunis? I then explained my background, and asked where he was from and he goes Pakistan. I asked if there were many Pakistanis in Burgos, he goes yes, many in Leon (city not far from Burgos), Barcelona and Madrid. I pointed out there were more Bangleshis in Madrid that Pakistanis. He said this was true, and that was the end of our conversation, because I had got my food. By the way, this conversation was all in Spanish.

The bus back to Madrid, wasn’t an Alsa (bus company like National Express) bus, it looked like a third company bus, but nevertheless it had leather seats, and I thought that I was clearly going up in the world, but then I realised if I was, I would be taking the train. The Bus seats were free for all, so one of the advantages (among many) of being a hijabi no one really wants to sit next to you on a bus, so the seat next to me was free. So of course i was milking it.

Que es todo

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Day 255 – 12.03.2012 – Hace calor (It is Hot)

Hola Gente.

Hace calor todo el fin de semana.

Oh I’m sorry, I didnt realise I was writing in Spanish :p

It has been hot all weekend, when we went to Cuenca then even yesterday when we chilled at Retiro. I have been told, that its good weather to build a base tan. Always valuable information…

Anyway this morning when I left home for work, it was extremely exciting, I didnt wear my winter coat, it was too hot for it. Its very exciting that spring is here and summer is coming. Although I was rather confused about what to do with my phone, wallet and Abono, because they usually live in my pockets, but alas thats what a handbag is for.


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Day 254 – 11.03.2012 – Parque del Retiro y Museo del Prado

Productive Day, Today.

Went to Retiro in the afternoon to meet DS, YA and SO and just jammed there for abit. After a while myself, DS and SO headed to the Prado Museum, because its free on Sundays 5-7. We almost missed the entry, cuz it turns out it closes sharply at 7. It also just happened that there was an exhibition showing the ‘other’ Mona Lisa, that they have found. Apparently this one was painted by one of Da Vinci’s students. It was pretty cool.

I felt the art-ness wash over me, and was genuinely quite interested in the paintings (very different to the Guggenheim…) We walked around but not for long, because they started kicked people out at quarter to, nevertheless I did enjoy myself, and there is a possibility I will go again (albeit at the free times).

Just a sign, not the real thing, the one below is the museum

Kicking us out of the Prado

Summer is Coming…

First time I ran home (gotta be there to understand) to as literal as you may think

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