I got an apartment!

Today was a great day :D I woke up early (reluctantly) and Ale and I did some more research on apartments. I ended up calling some guy and he told me to come check out all 4 of his apartments! So I showered and headed over to his place, which wasn’t too far from where I am staying. He was a real friendly guy (who wore incredibly short shorts…) and he took me to each place, one by one (they were all a block apart so no big deal). The first room he showed me had two beds and it was a double-floor type situation. Sort of like a loft. Then he says to me that both these rooms were already taken…so I’m like….then why are you showing this to me? He then grabs a chord from the ceiling and pulls down a ladder from an attic space. He climbs up a bit and flips on the light. HELL NO, I say to myself. He tells me to go in and look at it. So I do. All that there is is a filthy, dry mattress and green light bulb in the light socket. From floor to ceiling, it was about 3 feet tall. I could barely crawl in there. What did he expect me to do? Lock myself up in a windowless hellhole all night and sleep peacefully in the pitch darkness? I don’t think so. He took me to the other 3 places and they gradually got worse. I honestly can’t imagine what was going on inside this guy’s mind. These “living arrangements” would be illegal in the US. Honestly, he couldn’t pay me 300 euros a month to live there. And these rooms, as crappy as they were, weren’t cheap at all! He was asking for 400 euros for one of these dumpy attics! I thanked him and left. He is NOT getting an interested call back from me.

From there I went and took care of my Abono (monthly Metro pass), and then I took Ale out to lunch because I owe her for being such a wonderful host. She really has been amazing! She’s been helping me find a place, get a phone, and she’s been cooking for me (of course I’ve been doing the dishes in return), but I still needed to do something for her. We went to a place called Wagaboo which was a really unique and calm place. We had Asian food. We were there for like 2 hours just chit-chatting. It was really relaxing and great just to get to spend some good time with her and show her how much I appreciate all that she is doing for me.

She went home to nap, and then I met up with Chris were we went and got Tapas in Puerta del Sol, center of Madrid. We sat there drinking cafe con leche and cervezas while munching on these delicious 1 euro tapas. Oh, did I mention that the beer was also 1 euro for a large mug? Yep. It was great just getting to chill with him, laughing and catching up.

Then we wandered around for a while, and then we returned to Ale’s when I received a phone call.

And I found an apartment! I’m so excited! Ale, Chris and I went and checked this one out yesterday and we all loved it. I’ll have 5 other roommates, but everyone there is super friendly and they are all down for a really good time. It’s pretty much perfect for my lifestyle and the rooms are actually pretty big, the biggest we’ve seen (NO ATTICS!), it has a washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerators, etc. Also, there is a large kitchen and nice common room with two balconies. Plus, the common language there is Spanish so everyone speaks Spanish in the house.  I’ll definitely be fluent by the time I come home. WAY STOKED!  It’s really close to Blanca and Ale and it’s in a great part of Madrid: just 2 blocks from the center of downtown. It will only take me about 15 minutes to one school and about an hour and a half to the other. My second school I guess is pretty far, but I can take the metro all the way there so no worries. It’s just a long ride. I’ll bring a book or something. I got my Abono so that’s good too. Which means I can ride the metro unlimitedly, I just have to pay like 80 euros a month or something like that.

My rent is a little high, it’s going to be close to 400 euros a month, but that’s alright, I’m making 1000 and according to Ale, who has seen many apartments, this one is really nice and it will be really fun.

Ale and I called this place this morning to let them know that I’m really interested.  Ale told me not to get my hopes up since there was so much interest in this place and it was basically like an interview when I was there. All the roommates were asking me all kinds of crazy questions. Ale suggested that I call so I did, just so that they know I want it. Also, last night, we had to write down all of our contact information, and I had to write a little bit about me so that they’d remember who I was. I put down my name, which that I was americano, and then I put down that I’m very intelligent and handsome with a nice big smiley face. Ale said they’d find it funny and that they are probably looking for some one that’s fun to live with. So I went with it and I just got called, it’s now 10pm and they said I got a room!

We were both shocked.

I don’t move in until October 1, but I’ve got Ale and another set of friends to stay with until then. Ale has been tremendous help. She also said we could go to El Escorial, Spain in about a week because that’s where her mom lives who will be going out of town. We could stay there for a few days. I’ve been to El Escorial before (it’s like an hour from Madrid) and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Go Google images it. So we’ll probably spend the weekend there or something which sounds like it will be a blast. Ale doesn’t even start school till October 4. I have orientation part 1 on Wednesday and Thursday so I’m still pretty much just hanging out but it’s a relief I found this place because we looked at like 200 places on the internet with no success. Either they didn’t respond to our calls, or they had already rented the apartment out, but now I’ve got a really good place. I’m really excited!

Tonight, Chris and I are just finished our second night in a row of Kebabs and now I’m off to bed.

Tomorrow: Visit the far-away school and maybe get a cell phone. Oh, and see other friends that I haven’t seen yet. Yep.

Graham

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