I cannot believe it has only been a week since I've landed in Madrid. Eventhough we've been bustling about-- excursions and lectures and moving from hotel to host family, this place already feels like home.
While orientation was definitely helpful, leaving the hotel and joining a host mom makes me feel much more immersed in Spain. She doesn't speak a word of English, so there was a lot of smiling and nodding done at dinner, but luckily she talks a lot. She's so kind and a great cook and I'm looking forward to improving my Spanish and actually being able to have conversations!
And I've already accomplished a new milestone-- I found an apartment! It was the very first one I looked at and I took it. Was that a good idea? I don't know, we'll find out. It's going to be tricky to go from living on my own to living with three others. I'm excited to see how it turns out.
The landlord didn't speak any English either. (Yet another person to prove my point that just because you are in a major European city doesn't mean, "basically everyone knows English" as many people assume). I did, however understand basically everything he was saying. The place has a lot of natural light and it's a great location-- about twenty minutes from my school and still very near to bars, cafes, and the city center. I got a good vibe from the place, and it made me feel better that two of the people living there now are American auxiliares like me, and one of them has stayed there for two years now. I'll replace one of them, and I'm not sure who will replace the second one, and then I'll be living with the landlord as well as another Spanish guy. Four bedrooms and one bathroom is not something I would usually jump on, but the location was too good to pass up. And if it turns out I don't like it, I just have to give 30 days notice and can find something else. Lo que sea~~
In a few hours I'll be heading to my first Tandem Spanish language class. Wish me luck!