Ronna bores everyone with little details about Madrid
I have been hesitant to start a blog. Not because I don’t have anything to say . . . on the contrary, I almost always have something to say, whether I share or not. But because:
- It seemed like a lot of work, and I will admit that I am lazy.
- I am, unfortunately, a people pleaser and would therefore be thinking about the people (or lack of people) reading. I would wonder what I should write about, what I should include, and if I would need to censor my thoughts. What content would I include? How deep would I go? Will I write too much? Too little? etc. etc. . . . I’m also an over-thinker.
- I have high expectations for myself. I often don’t attempt things because I am afraid that I won’t fulfill my own expectations. Would this be a lame travel blog where I write once or twice at the start and then one post at the end of the year? Besides, there are already so many blogs out there.
Yet, here we are. And where to begin?
If my multitude of obnoxious facebook posts haven’t made it clear enough, I am currently in Madrid and will be here until July next year. As of today, I have been in this city for three weeks. And, boy, do I have so many thoughts and emotions to share. To simplify things, let’s just start with the basics and boring details:
FAQs Ronna has received since arriving:
- What cool things have you done/seen: I haven’t been able to see many touristy things. Mainly because once we arrived we have had a lot of paperwork to do so we could stay here for a year, as well as hunting for a piso (apartment). We were made to believe that finding an apartment would be relatively easy. I haven’t had to do much apartment hunting, so maybe here it is not that bad in comparison to other places. However, it was much more stressful than I was prepared for. My friend Grace, who is here with me, and I struggled. Not only were we practically an hour late to every appointment we had to see a piso, but we struggled with whether or not to settle with ones we had found out of fear of not finding anything better or believing that there was something better out there for us. It was a very stressful, discouraging, and scary process. And we didn’t always agree on what our next move should be. And everyday someone new would come in to Spanish class exclaiming how they had found their piso, how great it was, how cool it was, and how it was in such a neat area, etc. etc. The pressure was strong. Anyway, this week is basically supposed to be like a vacation before we start teaching, and I hope to explore Madrid a little more . . . at least anything free.
2. Did you find an apartment?! Yes! The nightmare episode of international house hunters came to end. We found a beautiful, fairly spacious piso for really cheap. It was built in the 1940s and has beautiful floors that we just couldn’t walk away from. It’s not in the most ideal area for our commute, but it is fairly close to the city center considering the budget we had in mind. Sadly, we cannot move in until October 1st. Unless it is ready earlier. Cross your fingers!
3. OMG. Where are you living now?! Aww. You’re so concerned. That’s sweet. Here is how the accommodation in Madrid went down: 1 week in a hotel was provided. 2 weeks in a homestay with two meals a day was provided. Once those two weeks were up, you had to be out or pay to stay longer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay at my last homestay and had to move into a new one on Saturday.
4. What the heck is a homestay? For those of you not in the know, this is basically an opportunity to live with a Spanish family/person and eat their delicious cooking. I loved my last homestay. The Senora of house’s name was Concha, and I was there with three other girls from my program. Concha was really sweet, and I felt very comfortable there very quickly, even though she didn’t speak any English. She definitely thought I knew more Spanish than I did and was always frustratingly telling me I needed to speak more. “You understand everything! But you don’t speak!” I guess my blank stares and “help me!” glances to the other girl’s in the house when I didn’t understand what she was saying went unnoticed. The three girls and I had dinner together every night, bonding over great food, gossip, and trading war stories from our day. It was fabulous, so moving into my new homestay I have been a little negative and grumpy. However, I am quite enjoying having my own room again.
5. How is your Spanish? LOL. Great question. I am so glad you asked. I have spent the last two weeks in Spanish class. The bottom level: A.1. We had a written and an oral “test” to determine which level each student should be in, and I spent the majority of my oral test with my face in my hands. When the instructor said, “It’s okay. It’s obvious you need to be in the beginner’s level, but you are here to learn,” I thought, “Yes! I could have told you that without being put through this embarrassing, torturous ‘test!’” I probably know more Spanish now than I have my whole life, but it is still a joke. Google translate is my best friend. And I (cringe) heavily rely on my friends to translate for me.
6. When do you start teaching? October 1st.
Well, enough boring and drawn out details. Tune in next time for a more emotional, yet still long, post.