Livin’ La Vida Madrileña: Monthly Recap #1.5…

Once again, I seem to have broken my promises of actually writing consistently–but, I actually have a legit excuse for the radio silence: Since arriving to the Spanish capital this past 15th of September, I’ve been in this flux, trying to get my ducks in a row–you know, piso (apartment) hunting, getting registered at my current address, and getting oriented and settled in at my new workplace!!…I’ve been crazy-busy these past some-odd weeks, so I’ll try my best to recap what exactly has been going on in my little sphere!!…

La Casa:

Upon arriving here, my first main priority was finding an apartment–imperative, because I needed a place with a landlord that offered a contract, something that is required to become empadronada (registered with the city), which in turn is required to get your T.I.E. (Foreigner’s I.D. Card)…I wanted somewhere where a Cercanías (commuter train) station was easily accessible, 450€/less (bills included), and with central heating and WIFI already installed (or about-to-be-installed by the landlord)…

This year, from what I understand, the competition in The Great Piso Hunt was particularly intense, what with more Spaniards moving to the Capital to find employment, more auxiliares than ever, and an influx of refugees from Syria and Lebanon…But praise God, I found my room in only 4 days (some people are still searching for a place to live), and I live in Puerta de Toledo, an area that’s fairly central (it’s just one Metro stop below vibrant La Latina, the city’s oldest neighborhood), has central heating and WIFI, is 12-15 minutes from a Cercanías station (which makes my commute that much easier), is around 50-60€ cheaper from my maximum price point, AND a fairly austere (but ultimately fair) landlord who gave me a contract and who doesn’t overstep any boundaries…

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…The Puerta de Toledo–a former gateway that marked the outskirts of the city, it lends its name to my current neighborhood…

The Roommate:

But, I think that the best part about my new digs is my roomie, Marta…Now, I had a bad experience with one of my housemates, Sol–or, as I referred to her sometimes, “La Bruja” (The Witch): She was considerably older than me (in her late 50’s/early 60’s), was a hypocritical cleaning Nazi (she got on me for not cleaning, yet I never saw her clean anything), and just a generally duplicitous, unpleasant person…

Now, I was the first person to move into my flat, so when I heard that someone else was taking the other room, I was a bit apprehensive, not wanting to go through the same thing I went through last year–but those fears were definitely unfounded, because Marta is literally the biggest sweetheart ever!!…She’s a soon-to-be-20-year-old Erasmus student from Bergamo Italia, and she’s been there to comfort me when I’m feeling down, offer me (unsolicited) food, shares the cleaning responsibilities, and is very easy to communicate with (crucial), whether it be related to housekeeping matters, or just a friendly, casual chat…

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The 9-2:

So, I’ve officially survived one full month at the CEIP Mozart!!…So far, I’ve been working with 2nd and 3rd graders with two very sweet ladies, Gema and Esther… I’m gonna be real–those first few days were so awkward: Think a few dozen little kids constantly looking back and staring at you, giving you glazed, blank-looking faces as a response to your queries–well actually,  if we’re being real here, Spaniards of any age act accordingly!!…But now, I think that they’ve gotten used to me–they don’t glare at me anymore, they greet me in the corridors calling me by name (even though I still have to learn 90% of theirs), and they seem really eager to capture my attention in some way, whether that be showing me their title page illustrations in their art book, or jumping in their seats in order to be the one who answers my grammar questions…It almost makes me feel a lukewarm sensation inside!!…

(Btw, if you didn’t get the joke, 9-2 are the hours I pull in at work daily [Can I keep this schedule forever???])…

Ralph, me fail english

…That’s the idea behind my job…

Finding My Ritmo:

Now that I’m getting settled in and sorted, I’ve been making an effort to really aprovechar my time here, and take advantage of the plethora of opportunities I have to engage myself in such a cosmopolitan, international city…Within the past weeks, I’ve done so many exciting things:

Still, I have plenty of things I need to tick off my list: Regular Saturday afternoon visits to the Prado and the Thyssen, seeing more live music, getting my  European Youth Card…But, hey–I still have at least 7.5 months to do all that and more!!

Upcoming Explorations:

Here’s to making dreams a reality!!…This past weekend, I whipped out my debit card and did something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: I booked my transport and lodgings for my first international solo trip!!…Here’s what it looks like so far:

  • December 23-25: Munich, Germany
  • December 26-30: Florence, Italy
  • December 30-January 8: Rome, ItalyRome-Italy-Night-Wallpaper

Over to you, fellow expats–how haave your past 1.5 months been???

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12 thoughts on “Livin’ La Vida Madrileña: Monthly Recap #1.5…

  1. Ruth says:

    All these sound awesome! I went to Madrid a month ago and, now, I am obsessed with all things Spain (planning another trip already). I have contemplated the idea of moving to Europe and travel the continent by train. Great to see you are finding your rhythm and starting to travel around.

  2. Estrella says:

    Glad to hear you’ve settled nicely in Madrid. I was reading the FB group board, and it really was an intense search this year. Can’t wait to read more about your upcoming adventures.

  3. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} says:

    Sounds like you lucked out in the roommate department this year. I bet your students are so adorable, even in Australia I have kids raise their hands and ask how come I sound funny, so I am sure it is even worse in a non-english speaking country.

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