It’s hard to believe that I have been living in Madrid for two weeks! To be honest, it feels like months because so much has happened! I have friends, an apartment lined up, a Spanish phone number, a Spanish bank account, joined a gym, and trips planned for the foreseeable future.
The first day was rough. Following the directions of my AirBnB host, I lugged all my belongings on two buses to the apartment. I was proud to navigate the airport, find the buses, obtain the keys from a local bar, and locate the apartment without turning on my cell service. But for the life of me, I could not open the door to the apartment! After ten minutes of struggling, the next-door neighbor came out to see what was going on. Without knowing a lick of English, he tried to help but with no success. Thankfully, he got the concierge to help open the door.
Flustered, I went inside and unloaded my things into my temporary home for the next two and a half weeks. It was around one in the afternoon and I was famished. While getting ready, I blew a fuse and the power to the whole apartment went out. Gratefully, my friend living abroad in Czechia calmed my nerves and talked me through restoring the power.
Later that night, I went to a very rainy parade with twenty some other expats who attended the same academy as me. It was very comforting to be around folks who have been through the exact situation I was in. Everyone was super friendly and willing to help. After that night, I knew that everything will be ok.
The next day, I explored the city with a friend I met on Facebook and two girls at her hostel and met up with a former co-worker, who lives in Madrid! She invited me out to dinner, drinks, and dancing with her friends. It was a blast experiencing the Spanish nightlife!
Since the first weekend, I began my program at TtMadrid with five awesome girls from America. Very quickly we bonded and supported each other though the first crucial weeks of living abroad. We have completed teaching four of the six observed classes. After the sixth class, we will obtain another certificate, our resumes will be sent out, and we can start attending Spanish classes – which is greatly needed!
These past two weeks have been exhilarating and exhausting. I am ready to fast forward to settling in, having a steady income, and exploring!