The Great Housing Search

1 Feb

What an accomplishment!  I have found myself a Piso!  (That’s Spanish for apartment) Because I have never lived in an apartment before, you can imagine what a daunting task this seemed like.  Having only one month of prearranged living, being in a foreign country, and not knowing the possible roommates are a few reasons why this seemed so impossible.  Not wanting to have to spend a few homeless nights in Retiro Park, I got on the housing search right away.

Our advisors gave us some tips and suggestions, but for the most part, I had to do it all on my own.  So I started the search by using an online site.  I sent out at least 20 emails and was thinking wow that was easy.  However, to my disappointment I had only heard back from 3 people the next day and they were all no-goes.  I realized at then that sending emails was not going to cut it and I was going to have to break down and call.  But boy, was I dreading that first call.  It was hard enough to communicate with people face to face.  Over the phone was going to be nearly impossible.  Ay ay ay!  Luckily, someone I had emailed called me and I had to choice but to answer my phone and talk to him…and guess what?  It went fine.  I surprised myself at how good my Spanish sounded!  There certainly was a little bit of a language barrier, but I got the information I needed! Even though I had no interest in the piso, I felt on top of the world and confident enough to make the next calls.  Unfortunately, none of the calls proved to be successful.  I had certain expectations that I was not going to toss to the side:  I wanted nonsmoking, all female Spanish students for roommates.  This may not seem so picky, but trust me of the 30 places I called I only found one that meet these stipulations.  ONLY ONE!  When I finally encountered one that meet these stipulation, I immediately made an appointment to see the place.

When I walked in, I was graciously greeted by the roommate, Charo.  She showed me around and was very patient with my speaking.  The piso was very close to school, in a safe neighborhood, the rooms were beautiful and large, and the roommates seemed great.  The only setback…it was about 80 Euros per month more than I wanted to spend.  So I regretfully left and continued to search.  I found nothing else and I just couldn’t stop thinking about the first place I visited.   Finally, I decided I was going to go visit once more.   I met with the landlord and her kind heart and willingness to help, along with the smiling face of Charo, made the extra 80 Euros a month so worth it.  I signed for the lease right there!  I felt on top of the world!  I had just found and rented an apartment in Spain!  I am very excited to move in with my new roommates in two weeks. Two of them are even studying the same thing as me and they are really excited to have their first “extranjera”(foreigner) as a roommate.

Am I nervous?  Oh yes!  Moving into a place with 3 girls and not being able to express myself completely will be hard and frustrating at first, but I picked this apartment to help me reach my goals:  to make real Spanish friends and become fluent.  Bring on the challenge!

Until I move in, however, I am enjoying my last two weeks with my Señora.  I dearly love this woman and we have grown very close over the past two weeks.  Today she said to me. “You are very pretty, really intelligent, and a Christian…I wish you were my daughter!”  Oh Señora, you make my heart melt.  Although, I will greatly miss her, I know I will get a better glimpse of the life of a Spaniard my age in my new piso. Besides, she has another student moving in when I leave.  But trust me; I will be sure to visit!  I would miss her(and her cooking)  way too much!


2 Responses to “The Great Housing Search”

  1. Natalie Lira February 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Hey Mandi,

    Wow! What an adventure you are on! I love reading every word and can hear your voice in your writing.
    Look forward to more posts!
    Enjoy every day!
    Aunt Natalie

    • madridmandi February 16, 2012 at 12:12 am #

      Thanks Aunt Nat! I’m glad you are enjoying them. Miss you!

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