I got to see Ciudad Real on the 22nd, but this is when I can finally post this!
September 22, 2011
I woke up (or I should say was woken up) at 10:15AM after an exhausting long day. The plan was to be up by 8am, but with the difficulty I had falling asleep last night and then falling asleep only after I ate some chocolate my friend Jima had given me, I slept in.
Today was apartment hunting day. We started the day by going to the Comisaría (police station) in Parla, Madrid, to get my Numero de Identificación de Extranjero (N.I.E), otherwise known as the alien card for foreigners in Spain. There I was given a website where they instructed me to go and set up an appointment. The place was evidently busy and one of the guards who assisted me, or pretended to, anyway, handed me a piece of paper with a web address written on it. (Spaniards seem to love giving you the runaround. They can either be very helpful or very dismissive. It’s weird.) So, we left the place without accomplishing anything.
My brother’s friend, Issa, then drove me to Ciudad Real to check out some pisos (apartments). It was better than what I expected (thank god) to be honest because, so many people had been saying that it was a very country small town and very boring. But when we got there, my first impression was relief. It’s actually a small cute small city — with emphasis on small. It is livable. There are various restaurants and bars that I’ll be sure to surf before I leave.
Once in Ciudad Real, we looked around for pisos. There were several “en alquiler” (for rent) so I wrote down some numbers and called people. From the ones I called, two offered to show me the apartment right away. I didn’t hesitate either and agreed.
One of the apartments I saw was too old for words. There was no way I could have picked that one. The oven, for instance, was very old school and that was a major problem because there was definitely going to be some cooking going on (by Chris, that is).
The second apartment I saw was just perfect. The price was good, great location, and incredibly spacious. The only problem: I had already seen almost the same apartments online for half the money they were asking. So I kept searching. I had an idea now of what I could or couldn’t have in Ciudad Real. Rent is relatively cheap there and I was sure that whatever I picked was going to be a better option than anything back home.
I didn’t find anything that same day. I like to take my time when I’m “shopping” and one day was not enough. We left, but I have to go back before the week ends.
Tomorrow is definitely cell phone time. I can’t take it anymore. Being disconnected from everything and everyone is a pain. For someone like me who used to sleep with her cell phone by her side in order not to miss a single email or text message—as ridiculous as it sounds—it has been tough. We are very spoiled in the US and we may not realize it until we travel 40,000 miles. But, yeah…I’m seriously going to lose it if I don’t get this cell phone by tomorrow. So fingers crossed!