Having grown up on Grand Cayman, where the temperature remains around 30 degrees Celsius or 85 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, it was a big change moving to Spain, a country with four distinctive seasons.
October is one of Grand Cayman’s rainiest months, which makes the island a lot more humid, but not much less hot. In Spain, if it rains this time of year, the temperature drops significantly.
This is my first time really experiencing cold weather. Sure, Tampa — where I went to university — gets cold, but it certainly doesn’t get as cold as it does here in Madrid.
For the most part, Madrid is dry, which means the winters are cold and the summers resemble the desert.
I arrived in peak summertime, August, and felt the wrath of Madrilenian summer heat. But as we crept into October, I felt the sudden need to use my heater for the first
Autumn has a unique feeling to it, and is much cooler than I’m used to. I see the leaves changing colour and falling from the massive trees in Retiro Park. The smell of pine lingers in the air and I feel the cool air in my nostrils when I breathe.
I live in the city, but work in the suburbs about an hour north, which is much colder than the city centre. My teaching job requires me to wake up quite early in order to reach work on time. During autumn, the sun does not rise in Madrid until about 8:30 a.m. As soon as I exit my building, the crisp, morning air hits my face, I shove my hands into my pockets for warmth and begin my commute in the dark. At this time of the morning, the temperature is usually under 50 degrees Fahrenheit — colder than it has ever been in recorded history in the Cayman Islands. I wear jeans, an undershirt, a sweater and a large coat. It warms up once the sun rises, thankfully, and by the time I leave work, the temperature is in the upper 50s.
My students laugh when I tell them that I think it is cold now and they warn me that it gets much colder than this. They tell me to prepare for temperatures that dip below freezing — cold enough to snow.
I have never lived in a place where it snows before, and when I think of Spain, snow is not the first thing I think of. I can only anxiously await my first cold winter, knowing it is coming