I´m having so much fun! The only negative aspect of my stay here so far has been the aparment hunting. It´s been so frustrating! It looks like I´ve got one though, with an American guy I met early on named Keith. We have very similar personalities so I think we´ll get along just fine. The apartment is in a great part of the city, right in the center, just two blocks from the Metro. It´s got two bedrooms, one big and one small, it´s furnished, the bathroom and kitchen are nice and the living room has a very small balcony. It´s really a small place but it´s got everything we were looking for. The owners had interviewed three different parties for the apartment and Keith and I were sure they weren´t going to give it to some American kids like us. The other applicants were a Spanish married couple and two italian students. But they just called me and offered it to us!! Very exciting! The price is a tad high so Keith and I are going to spend tomorrow looking at a few more and then decide. We´re both 90% sure we´re going to take it though.
Tomorrow I have my orientation with the program directors and the other 299 placements. I´m excited to hear more about my job and get a real idea of what exactly my role will be in the classroom.
A couple of nights ago I went out with some new friends to Chueca, Madrid´s gay distrcit. John (Scottish)and Phil (Brit), both gay but not a couple, are staying in Madrid for a year teaching english also. They are a lot of fun and I´m looking forward to seeing them often. I´ve been so lucky in meeting people. Unfortuntely, Kyle and Chris left this afternoon, they´re going on to Munich for Octoberfest and then towards eastern Europe. But they are flying out of Madrid in a couple months so I should see them again soon.
Yesterday, Kyle and Chris and I went to the Prado since it´s free on Sunday´s. It was terribly crowded but it was worth it. A beautiful museum with plenty of paintings by Goya, Velazquez and El Greco, Spain´s most treasured artists (no 20th century art so no Picasso). Afterwards we found a pool hall on Gran Via and spent a couple hours there drinking and playing. They were actually very good and I lost every time... though not by much. Then we went to a jazz club called Bar Barco. It was a great night.
It´s an expensive city. The food, Metro passes, phone calls and the Cybercafe´s are all putting a dent in my wallet. Making local calls on my cell phone is incredibily expensive. I´m going to have to look into changing my rate plan. And I haven´t even had a meal at a real spanish restaurant yet, I´ve only had pizza slices, donner kebabs and sandwiches since I got here. I´ve just been too busy finding an apartament. But that´s about to change!!