I think so far I have alluded to, but not actually explained my living situation here in Spain. It’s kind of a long story, but basically, I found an apartment online that sounded really perfect. It was with two Spanish roommates (for Spanish practice) in a reasonably convenient location with a decent price. I was set on that decision until a friend of mine from last time I lived here emailed me saying that she was looking for a roommate for her newly renovated fancy shmancy apartment in an even more convenient location. The only problem was that it wouldn’t be ready until “two weeks” after my scheduled arrival in Spain. I debated and debated about what to do, all the while feeling slightly guilty about ditching the folks who I had emailed with about the other apartment. In the end, I decided to still stay with them for the month of September while helping them find someone to take my place starting in October. And surely by then Ana’s apartment would be ready, right?
Wrong. Ana’s apartment is still not ready and I need to get out of this place by October 1. I believe they have found someone to rent this room, although the other day, older, unattractive Spanish guy who lives here (married to Spanish girl who lives here) began stroking my arm lovingly and telling me what a pity it is that I am leaving and trying to convince me to stay. That made me slightly uncomfortable. In order to exit the situation gracefully, I told him that I was tired and that I needed to take a nap. It had been a long week of work, I said, and I was ready for some rest.
“Did I ever tell you I’m a masseuse?” He offered.
I had an idea of where this was going, and was dreading it. “No,” I said.
“Ah. Well I am a very good masseuse, and I have these great massage oils. Come, let me show you.” He headed into the bedroom (I remained at the doorway) and grabbed two halfway used oils from a shelf. “See, this one smells like orange.” He put the bottle to his nose and began smelling. “Well, actually, it doesn’t smell like orange, but it has orange in it. It’s very relaxing.”
“This one has aloe in it. It’s very good for the skin.”
“Hmm. Well you know, I’m really tired. I’d really just rather sleep.”
“You’re sure you don’t want a massage?”
I then had to hang three weeks worth of underwear out on the terrace to dry.
I’m pretty ready to be out of here.
But where to go!? I gave serious consideration to just giving up on Ana’s place altogether and moving somewhere else. But, it’s within walking distance of my school, it’s such a nice place, and it’s still a Spanish roommate. Plus, she said it will most likely be ready for human occupation the weekend of October 9. That’s only eight days of sleeping on the street. I can do it!
Just kidding. I feel really lucky because many people have offered to let me stay with them. I’m not really the couch surfer type. In fact, it often makes me uncomfortable to live off of other people’s kindness. I much prefer to stand on my own two feet (some people reading this blog might have a different impression of me, but I swear it’s true.) So, couch surfing is not my ideal way of living. In fact, I’ve been really annoyed this past month living in “transition.” All my stuff is still in my suitcases, and I haven’t bought anything (besides a fan) to help me settle in because I know it’s not time to settle yet. It’s been kind of annoying.
But, maybe couch surfing will be fun? I won’t worry about getting lonely, that’s for sure. It will be a new experience for me also. It sort of sucks that it’s corresponding with so many things, though. I’m getting kicked out of here pretty much on my birthday (September 30), and the first day of real work starting (October 1) and things are just beginning to get going school wise. It’s hard to focus on assignments when it seems there is so much else to think about; not only where I will be sleeping, but also planning long weekends, organizing my very full social calendar (joke), figuring out finances and work, and controlling my drinking problem (again, kidding! I only drank twice this week. I guess I forgot to mention that I’ve been heading into work which has made me feel like a more worthwhile human being. More posts on work to come.)
So there’s a lot going on. I will say, however, that even though my place of residence is yet to be fully realized, this week I’ve been feeling much more settled, emotionally. The culture shock I initially experienced has dwindled, I’m very much enjoying getting to know my new program-mates, and I feel like I’m finding balance between my old and new friends.
I might hate couch surfing, but at least I’ll be able to say that I’ve done it. And at least I have some couches to surf.