Where to start… It’s been a very full on 4 days! I really didn’t realise how crazy I was until I was talking to some friends I met in the hostel, and they put it into perspective.. I moved to the other side of the world knowing nobody, with nowhere to live and not being fluent in the language. I guess you could say I dove in head first. But here I am now writing from my apartment where I feel settled in already.
I arrived a at my hostel (it was called Cat’s Hostel) on Thursday night, and was sharing a room with 3 Aussie guys. For the record, I do not recommend travelling 36 hours in one go, I was absolutely shattered, and to make it even worse, I couldn’t sleep because of the time difference. So day one, I tried to fit a billion things in, which lead to me just being ridiculously stressed out, and to top it off, not many people speak English, which is probably a good thing, because it forces me to speak Spanish, but sometimes you just want to get your message across without searching your brain for the right word.
I basically spent the whole day running around trying to sort my life out: making my appointment to get my temporary residents card, opening a bank account (where by some weird coincidence I met Tyler, who works at school with me!), went to the school and finally to look at flats (which ended up only being one, but only 5 minutes from school). I thought it would be a walk in the park finding a flat, but it’s an absolute nightmare. At this time of year there a couple thousand people doing the same thing as me (language assistant) and all looking for places to live, so places get snapped up within an hour of being advertised. And just to make it even harder, once a flat is filled, the landlords fail to take down the advertisement. After speaking to my friend, she made me realise I was quite lucky to have found a flat near the school and even if it was far from town, it only needed to be temporary. So I took the first place I saw, it’s 5 minutes from the metro and my school and it’s bloody cheap! 250 euros a month!!!
Saturday was definitely an improvement, I was so much more relaxed and I finally met Bethen for the first time, a friend from Wellington doing the same thing as me in Madrid. She helped me out a lot, talking about the transport card and which areas I should look at to live in. Speaking to someone else in the same boat made me realise that I couldn’t just expect everything to be perfect straight away, I had just moved to a completely foreign country after never living away from home, of course it was going to be difficult at first.
Since I was a bit more chilled out about life, I decided to go out with my room mates from the hostel on Saturday night, we went to a few clubs and it was a really good night! Madrid night life doesn’t really start until 1:30-2 am, its ridiculous haha! This of course lead to a very hungover Sunday, which consisted of moving into my flat. I had to endure a car ride with my non-English speaking flatmate, which was a struggle being hungover. My brain could barely function in English, let alone Spanish! It didn’t take me long to move in, I mean all I have is a suitcase!
For the rest of the day I explored the area, sussing out the supermarket and what not! Everything was running smoothly, until I tried to get cash out and the ATM swallowed me card! I remained surprisingly calm and a passerby kindly called the bank for me and found out I could go in on Monday and get it (I have it now and all is well!). If you’re ever in Spain, don’t use Bankia to get cash out!
I’m loving it over here already, and it’s only been 4 days! Bring on the next 9 months! Stay tuned for my next post, talking about my school and whatever else is thrown at me in the next week!