FINALLY A BLOG POST! It’s been too long, I’ve been dying to write one but due to the circumstances of the past few weeks, it’s been nearly impossible to find the time. I don’t even know where to begin, so much has happened and I will do my best to sum up what’s been going on.
I left New York on the night of August 26th to come back to Madrid. As most of you know, I am working as an English assistant in a school here in the suburbs of Madrid. (More on that later). Nicole and I are working in the same school and so we both had a week to find a new apartment before we had to start work. While I loved my old apartment, there was no way we could continue to live there. It was too far a commute to the school and we would have had to find new roommates to help with the rent.
After seeing a few places, about three days into the search we found an apartment we both liked. It has three bedrooms and we decided we would find a new roommate after moving in. On the spot we told the landlord we wanted the place. She seemed a little wary of our eagerness and asked to see our official ID documents and our job contracts. Once Nicole and I got that over with, she became a lot warmer and more welcoming. However she is definitely on the batty side, even though she means well.
Anyways our new apartment is smaller than the old place but it’s location is 100 times better. One of the criteria Nicole and I had was that it had to be near the Moncloa bus station, because that’s where the buses leave for Majadahonda (where the school is). It’s right down the street from Corte Ingles, Spain’s large department store chain. And it’s right off Calle Princesa which then turns into Gran Via so we’re near all the shopping. We live in a predominantly university student neighborhood so there are lots of places to go out. I just love it so much. The apartment itself is pretty quiet since my bedroom is not facing the street this time around.
However there are some cons–we live in the basement so we don’t get any natural light. Cell phone reception is horrible (unless we go outside on the patio) and the floors get dirty really fast. Oh and there’s no dishwasher like the last one but I’ve gotten pretty used to just washing my dishes after using them. Also the door to our building is ridiculously heavy–there’s actually a pedal on the door to help residents push it open with their foot because it’s that heavy.
So Nicole and I were fortunate to find a new apartment so fast. However that very same day I learned that my grandmother had passed away. It was hard to hear, even though we knew it was coming. To make matters worse, I was thousands of miles away and felt so useless. In the back of my mind, I knew I would be getting the news that day–my sister and I both dreamed about it the night before. I was very upset upon getting the news and luckily Nicole was there to help quell the initial shock (she went through the same thing last year when her grandfather died).
So after being in Madrid for barely a week, I returned home to New York for the funeral. I don’t regret my decision–it was the right thing to do and I’m glad I was there, even though it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. However, this meant I missed out on most of the first week at the school I was supposed to begin working at. I only had two days of orientation week before I was thrown into the craziness that usually goes along with the first week of school/a new job. On top of that, I was still moving my things from the old apartment to the new apartment via the metro (something that is really a pain in the neck I’ve discovered), I still had to sign the contract for the new place, I was dealing with the loss of my grandmother, and my former roommate was giving me and Nicole a hard time.
This last subject is something I’ve gone back and forth on many times and I’ve mostly kept the roommate drama out of this blog because reading about those kinds of things is just not interesting. Plus writing about it forces me to relive the experience, and Nicole and I have vented about it ad nauseam already. However this particular individual brought it up in their blog several times and I feel like I should at least give my two cents as well. There are two sides to every story–just remember that. The situation really stressed me out last year–the academic side definitely didn’t help but I know for a fact my living situation contributed to my weight loss and my acne break out last year. I know I’m at fault as well and I either did or said some things I shouldn’t have–but I’ve apologized and moved on. Some people will just remain crazy and neurotic and never be satisfied no matter what you say or do. And I truly feel sorry for this person.
One last thing to tie up this post: Nicole and I found a new roommate! I’ll be honest, I was very nervous about this. Last year was just not the greatest in terms of roommates and I was afraid Nicole and I would end up with some batshit crazy person. However we found this very chill Spanish girl from Granada named Veronica. She is doing some kind of fashion design internship in Madrid. Anyways this is fantastic for me and Nicole because we get to speak Spanish in the apartment this year!
However our batty landlord Isabel was very concerned for us when she learned we had found a new roommate. She called us nonstop and probably would have requested an FBI background check if that had been possible. She must think we are these naive young girls and she doesn’t want us to get screwed over by Spanish people–which I understand from her perspective. But then she turned around and told us that she didn’t feel like adding a third person to the contract and that we would have to write a new one. So this new contract is supposed to be between Nicole and me and Veronica. So I’m not sure why she was being super cautious in the first place if she had no intention of writing up a new contract? Eh whatever… if anything, I’m sure Isabel will be providing this blog with lots of entertaining stories.
In my next post, I will talk about the school and what’s it like being an English language assistant. And sometime in the near future talk about the trip I took to Aranjuez this weekend.
However that will have to wait because–oh didn’t I mention it? We have yet to get Internet! Oh the joys of dealing with the real (Spanish) world.