Long stories short, I’m back in Madrid, I have an apartment, I have internet, I have a job, things are going well.
Long stories long:
I’m Back in Madrid.
Yeah, I’m back in the city of 100 Montaditos, scaffolding, fountains, and hoop-jumping to get anything more complicated than brushing your teeth done. The flight here was uneventful, except for a brief panic in the airport when my bags were the last ones to roll in on the baggage claim.
I had planned on apartment searching that first day, but I felt like I wanted to take some time to meet up with friends, get over the post-flight jetlag disease, and enjoy some of the spots I had been missing(?) over the past month. After a day of
goofing around enjoying all Madrid has to offer, I met up with my future roommate and starting pounding the pavement.
I Have an Apartment.
What an ordeal that was. With about 15 km of explored city streets and 20 E of credit on my phone later, we still hadn’t found an apartment. I had about 15 seconds of a mild anxiety attack until I remembered my auxiliar de conversación mantra: “Dumber people than you have done this before, and far dumber people than you will do it after.” That helped. After the best Thai in the world at the only Thai restaurant I’ve ever eaten at (and yes, it’s in Madrid), I was renewed for another day of searching.
That search was postponed by lunch before it even started. Not feeling hopeful, my friends and I meandered around a neighborhood that I usually only see after dark: Malasaña. Turning a corner, we saw a woman on a balcony bearing a “SE ALQUILA” sign. We yelled up to her, took a look at the apartment, and (without really thinking it over) forked over 300 E to make it ours… 50 E for each balcony overlooking the street. We returned the next day to sign the lease.
Living next to Plaza Dos de Mayo is a little loud at night, but that’s okay. People here drive dirt bikes around on the streets, which sounds like the coming of the apocalypse, but that’s okay. But we didn’t have internet, and that was not okay.
I Have Internet.
When I went to Phone House to set up our internet, I guess I didn’t really know what to expect. When you get internet in the States, you call the cable company and they come a few days later to set up the system. This also happens in Spain. So why was I so irritated when the woman at the desk told me I’d have to wait for someone to come a few days later to set up the system? No clue. Maybe it was because in the back of my mind, I knew what was going to happen next.
A man comes to my apartment to set up the internet. Awesome! Facebook, here I come! I hear you’ve changed, old friend. What’s happening on Top Chef: Just Desserts? No worries, I’ll find out in a few minutes. Not so fast. The man plugs in a cable, and tells me the wifi router will arrive in a few days. Seriously? I can’t watch YouTube videos NOW? So I waited.
(Usually, in Spain, this is where the …and waited. And waited. And waited… part comes in). The router came the next day. Thanks, Spanish Postal Service. So now, I can blog, facebook, facebook and facebook as much as I want.
I Have a Job.
I work at IES Vega del Jarama. Today, I showed up and wrote my own schedule. Like my schedule last year, it’s pretty great. The commute is okay, but not ideal (I’ll live). The catch? “Well, hopefully you’ll get lucky and get paid. How do you feel about volunteering?” Hopefully this is just a Spanish yoke.
I might not have to go in tomorrow or Wednesday because the teachers are going on strike. So we’ll see what happens.
Not much to report on the class front, but the English department at my school really likes to do movie days. At least once a week. This week, it’s Love, Actually. I told the teacher that I had to skip certain parts of it at camp to make it appropriate for the students. Her response: “Why?” Oh, brother.
Things Are Going Well.
Pub Quiz tonight, I’m eating a ridiculous amount of vegetables, I have private classes ready to go (have to leave for my first one in an hour), hopefully I’m not going to run out of money. Payday can’t come soon enough… and I’m not yoking.