Friday, September 28

My first days in Madrid

After flying for 14 hours, from San Diego to Dallas to London, I´ve finally made it here. For the better part of a year, I will call this city home. I arrived just past noon at Barajas, the most modern, cleanest and without a doubt quietest airport I´ve ever visited. It has a museum-like quality to it, not a single upset child.

I am welcomed with blue skies and dry heat. My taxi driver points out all of the sites as we drive toward my hostel. It´s just what I hoped it would be, nineteenth century buildings, great big parks, and crowded streets.

The hostel is nice. I quickly made friends with a couple Americans from Newport Beach, Kyle and Chris. We hung out in the hostel, played card games and drank a plastic bottle of wine that they bought at the market for 1 Euro, tasted pretty good actually. A french guy Julian and Jack, an Australian, quickly joined in. I´ve met one girl, Katarina from Germany, and the receptionist Sylvia and I get along well, I´d love to get a drink with her... have her tell me about the city. The rest of the girls have come here in packs and it´s not quite as easy to mingle with them. Last night, Kyle and Chris and I went to a cerveceria and sipped beers and snacked on empanadas. They had just arrived that day too, we returned to the hostel exhausted. I slept better than I had in weeks.

First thing I did was buy a cell phone. It´s a prepaid phone deal so there´s no contracts and I just pay as I go. When I leave Spain I can just sell the phone back to the shop and it will be completely out of my hands.

I spent all day today looking at ads for apartments. I called up 16 different ones, 6 of which are no longer available. I looked at 2 today... both a little further than I´d like to be from my school. The first was pretty nice. I would be sharing it with a 31 year old Spanish woman who works all day, every day and stays at her boyfriend´s on the weekend. My room has a double bed and a big closet. I like it but I´m afraid I´ll be lonely there and I really want to live with cool young people who I can practice Spanish with and meet others through. The second apartment was cramped and messy and in a shitty neighborhood. Online I found a bilingual American looking for a roommate. I spoke to him on the phone and he sounded really nice and on the level. Though I would prefer to live with a Madrileno, the price is right and he assures me the apartment is a gem. He said he´d call me back tonight.

The Metro is nice and clean and the whole city is very well connected.

Tomorrow I am meeting some of the program participants at a nearby park. That should be fun. My legs are already tired from walking so much. Time to go back to the hostel, make some more calls, maybe take a late siesta, and then enjoy the night.


Rachel said...

dood, sounds like things are going really great. yeah, i think you make friends with boys quicker than girls. you're more laid back like that.
so, have you indulged in any of the chocolate and churro's there? yuuum. i bet you can eat whatever you want since you'll be walking a lot.
i hope you find a place soon! miss yooooou!

jennifer said...

sounds great, pandaface. you really are quick on the immersion. that's great. good luck on your first day meeting with your group. xoxoxo.

Chell said...

Sounds so nice Amanda! I'm so jealous!