September 3, 2008

Ahhh...a new home (though this one pictured isn't mine).

Nope. Not my new house. This was in Parc Guell yesterday but I thought it would be a nice photo to accompany an entry about my new (temporary) home (I believe that “SALVE” means “safety”)

Let me begin this blog entry by saying that I am a firm believer in fate. I am also a believer in the new Spanish proverb I learned my first day of class:

"El mundo es un panuelo."

The literal translation is that “the world is a handkerchief” but the proverbial explanation is that the world is small and you find people when you didn’t even know you were looking for them. I am also a believer that timing is everything in life. Well, my friends, after 5 days of stressful flat-searching here in Barcelona with the slight fear that my 4-foot 9-inch roommate was somehow going to challenge my staying in the flat and really change the locks (as she told Sonja in German in front of me while I ate my Special-K during breakfast Sunday morning), I have found a new home for (hopefully) the duration of my stay in Barcelona, which is two months. Today, in fact, marks the two-week mark already since my arrival!

The reason my world became a handkerchief is because Tuesday morning at 9am I began my one-on-one Spanish with a teacher. I have class everyday for 3 hours in the morning with 4 other people, but three days a week have an hour with a teacher before class. The first day that I was tested on my skills (or possibly lack there of) I was assigned a teacher for my one-on-one as well as for my class that week. I saw her name scribbled on my exam but didn't think it would be the key to my housing situation. Mariluz and I met while I for sure was with some bags under my eyes from not sleeping well (due to the extreme noise that is outside of my window and due to the flat-searching stress that kept me up later than I wanted and awakened me before my alarm) and my hair unwashed because my lazy flatmate hadn’t fixed the broken showerhead and there was no water coming out of it.

Because it was our first meeting, Mariluz asked me how I was doing and my answer was “tired” (all in Spanish of course as all classes are in Spanish) and she asked why and I went on to explain that I had been looking for a place to live and she asked why and I told her the reasons and then she asked what I was looking for in a place and I told her and before I knew it she was telling me that she and her boyfriend had a room they had thought about renting out and would I want to look at it?! Well, folks, as of 3pm this afternoon, I saw the new place, talked about books and ate grapes with Mariluz and have decided to move in tomorrow afternoon. She is 33 and is finishing her masters degree in education and she is a huge help with my Spanish; I also told her I would help her with her English so this seems to be a much better situation than I am in right now.

I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders the moment I left her flat and excitement in getting life a little back to normal here without having to search online and walk up and down and all around Gracia looking at places. I want to feel settled again and especially with having regularity in my days because of school, it’s nice to feel like I am starting again. And in a MUCH quieter place. With internet!

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