Sorry for the delay, friends & family, but yes, I am alive and well Madrid!
I successfully got a cell phone, found an apartment, and moved in within 48 hours of landing at Barajas. We arrived a week and a half before our Spanish intensive classes start in order to have adequate time to take care of these necessities, and even leave time for a brief end of summer vacation!
Not to say there weren’t a few minor mishaps along the way, but the adventure was certainly smoother than I anticipated. The highlights of my culture shock during these first few days are listed below for your entertainment:
- An old man offered to carry my bag up the Arguelles Metro steps for me, and I just kept saying thank you, thank you, thank you! It didn’t even occur to me that I should have been saying gracias… As an aside it also weighed 75 pounds, and he was DEFINITELY not expecting that.
- When going to look at my current apartment, we had an appointment with Guadalupe. “Lupe,” as the landlord goes by, called me Saturday morning and I shockingly told everyone that it was actually an older man! When we had originally thought Guadalupe was a woman’s name… because it is. We got to the apartment building and it turned out that Guadalupe, Lupe, Lup, whatever you would like to call HER, is a short, blonde, grandmother-ly lady.
Needless to say, there have been lots of giggles going on here in Madrid as we get settled into our apartments. The apartment hunting process could not have been easier!! I took the first place I looked at and absolutely love it! I have a dark wood armario, lace curtains, and a terrace… I promise I’ll post some pictures soon.
I’ve been getting to know our neighborhoods better too… I live in the area near Arguelles, Quevedo, & Moncloa. This area of the city was pretty quiet when we arrived. Many Spainards take the entire month of August off to vacation at the beach in places like Valencia & Ibiza (a post to come about each of these BEAUTIFUL places). I think it’s really great that Spanish empresa’s give their employees so much time off, something American businesses would never think to do. It seems as though they are definitely more productive when they get back to work in the fall.
Anyway, this means most of the bars and a lot of the shops in our area have been closed. But there is a lot going on here now, so many little cervecerias and LOTS of shopping. Don’t worry though, I’ve vowed to avoid buying any new clothes until I run through the 150+ pounds of clothing I dragged through airports on my way here!
That’s pretty much it for settling in, thanks for reading! Ciao amores:)