Friday, September 23, 2011

Hostals and piso searching

  Hostals are very interesting places. You meet all sorts of people from all over the world. I love finding out people's stories; what they're doing here, where they've been, where they're going. I was surprised how many people in Europe travel solo. For this reason, you pick up friends easily. I came with another girl from Georgia, Caitlin, and we met lots of people from our teaching program in our hostal. 
   Unlike most carefree travelers, Caitlin and I were on a mission to find housing. We discovered apartment searching in a foreign country is pretty difficult. Crazy, right? We had done tons of research online for housing and bought local cell phones to call the listings. Calling and asking about rooms for rent in our broken Spanish was, in one word, intimidating. Although everyone was really friendly, it's so much harder to speak on the phone than in person! At least when you see them, you can use hand motions. Most people would invite you to see their apartment that day. 
  After walking and metroing all over town, we narrowed down the area of where we wanted to live. We picked a nice part of town called Arguelles because it is close to the bus stop where we have to ride to our schools and we just liked the feel of it. There are a lot of students who live in the area because the main University is up the street. Arguelles is northwest of Sol and Gran Via, but is still considered inside the city center. Anyway, when we picked this area, we walked up and down looking for "For Rent" signs in windows. And we proceeded to call pretty much every one of them. Passersbys saw us in the streets calling the signs and told us about places they knew about for rent. They were so helpful! They probably noticed how disheveled and helpless we looked.  We must have seen dozens of places. They are entirely different from what we're used to back in the States. They are very small and usually only have one bathroom for up to 4 or 5 people. Most do not have air conditioning- which made me very glad we were coming in fall! They do have heat however. Whew. 
   Well we finally found a place! It's student housing and already we have roommates from the US, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany! I'll post some pics soon. I am so pumped about our international apartment.

1 comment:

  1. You have an apartment, so now all you need is a teeny tiny wiry-haired dog and you'll be a legit Spanish woman! Hope you're having fun!