Por fin

¡Hola a todos! I apologize for waiting so long in between posts, especially because I had initially planned on updating every day, but I’m finally back.

The idea of giving you a day-by-day update is rather daunting, so I’ll do some highlights instead.

ILP (Intensive Language Program) classes started last Tuesday. The classes are conducted by Complutense professors and I take them with fellow UC students. They’re…okay, I guess. We have class Monday through Thursday from 9 to 2 without break and then also on Tuesday from 6-7 and Thursday from 6-9, and since we’ve all been spoiled by college schedules, the days seem really long.  Some of the classes (like conversation and occasionally history) are interesting, but others (like grammar and literature) can be extremely boring. Plus, it’s really hard to wake up before 7am every morning four days a week, especially when on a Spanish schedule where you don’t eat dinner until 10pm, so there’s no chance of going to bed early.  I know, I know, all of you in the real world probably see this as a really easy schedule, but, like I said, we’re spoiled by college schedules.  Plus, we’re in Spain! We want to spend our time exploring, not sitting in class!  But, okay, it’s not that bad.  Just not great either.

However, everything else is good.  Most of the people in my program are really fun to hang out with, and we’ve all spent a lot of time exploring the city since it’s so easy to get around by metro and on foot.  We went to El Rastro (the flea market I mentioned in the last entry) again, have hit up Cervecería 100 Montaditos multiple times, checked out some pubs and discotecas, discovered Carrefour, the Wal-Mart like store, and lots more. I feel like I’ve gotten to know the city (or at least this side of it) pretty well, and I’m loving it.

I also have an apartment now!  Last week, I sent out a few emails to people renting rooms and got a quick response from one of them, went to visit it the next day, loved it, told them I’d take it, and now I’m going today to make my first payment and start moving stuff in!  It’s in Plaza de España, which is really close to some fun areas like Sol and Gran Vía and is also close to school, it’s really cheap (only 280 euros a month, which is really good here), the apartment is nice, I have my own room, and the person who lives there who showed me the place was incredibly nice. The room itself is a bit dungeon-y, but I figure I can fix it up to make it look nicer (another one of the girls living there has a similar setup and made hers super cute).  I stay in the dorms until September 18th, but it’s such a relief to have found a place that I like, and it’ll be exciting living in my first apartment.

I got really lucky in that I chose the first and only apartment I visited, but I’ve also been going apartment hunting with my roommate.  That proved to me just how great this apartment is and also made me very glad to be done with the hunt. She eventually found one, and she’ll be about two blocks from me, which is very cool. After I go make the payment for my apartment, I’m going with her to sign her contract because the landlord likes using me as a translator, hahaha.

I guess other than that, I feel like I’ve been running a lot of errands, like submitting papers for my student residency card, getting a SIM card so I can use my phone in Spain, trying to figure out how to get a monthly metro pass, etc.  Not necessarily all that fun, but it’s good to get everything settled.

I can’t believe I’ve been here almost two weeks! It some ways, it feels like I’ve been here for months, but, at the same time, it’s weird that I’m actually now living in Spain.

The fires out in LA sound crazy, so I hope those of you who are there are okay. I love you and miss you all!  Hope you’re doing well!

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