Sunday, September 22, 2013

Round 2: Madrid!

So here I am, 3 months after my last post, newly settled in Madrid after being in the city less than a week. I spent the summer in the US visiting friends and family. We had Grandpa's memorial service at my mom's house. I went to California, Florida, Missouri, Michigan... I even went on a cruise with 40 extended family members to Central America. I partied hard at Dragon*Con. I stayed busy, that's for sure. I think it's important when you're far away to make the effort whenever possible to see the people you love. Not everyone can just hop over the ocean to see you for a week.
Cosplaying as Rosalind Lutece from Bioshock Infinite this year at D*Con
Now I'm in Madrid. I can't believe I live here. It really hasn't sunk in yet. I see things on the news about Real Madrid players or the Prince of Asturias or some other famous person walking around such and such area in Madrid, and I think...wait, that's where I live! Walking around, seeing the Palacio Real, the museums, the boulevards, all the nightlife, it's all surreal. I still feel like a tourist passing through.
I live near this!
I'm so lucky to have received a placement here to work. This year I'll be working in an elementary school, so a big change from last year, one I'm actually looking forward to actually. High school was pretty hard to teach, and I honestly wouldn't mind hanging out with students who still are awed by authority and who still think singing in class is fun. I went to the school last week to meet the other teachers and the other assistant teachers like myself. There are 2 other girls working in the same school as me which I think will be a nice change from last year as well.

So, I arrived in Madrid Tuesday morning and hit the ground running, well as best as I could with all my bags on my back (lots of the metro stops don't have!). I stayed at a hostel in the center for three nights, each day scheduling at least one apartment viewing and spending the rest of my day reading through listings. There were loads of other people in the hostel doing the same, and I definitely bonded with some people going through the same difficult process.

After seeing 5 apartments in 3 days, I decided to call it quits. I chose an apartment with 2 really cool roommates, a great price, a double bed, with good metro access to both the center and to work. No, I'm not in the dead center of the city, but I actually prefer that. As cool as the center of Madrid is, it's really loud and crazy, and I can't take that all the time. So, I chose an area that's really green and residential.
My roommates threw me a nice bienvenidos fiesta the night I moved in, so I got to meet a lot of their friends. All really nice. They're teaching me how to dance salsa, bachata, and merengue better than I could have ever hoped. It's a good time.

Hanging out with friends! My summer residence right behind me... kidding.
And the best part? I still have one more week of vacation before starting school!