It’s been a crazy week, but now I finally have some time to sit down and blog. I also now have internet so it’s possible. I arrived in Tomelloso on Tuesday September 9th. The headmaster of my school (JuanJo) and my BEDA coordinator (Elena) picked me up from Madrid. Tomelloso is about two hours southeast of Madrid so it was an extremely nice gesture. They met me at 12 in Puerta de Sol, which was about a 5 min walk from the hostel, but took 10 min with all my luggage. After the initial introductions we waited about 5 min longer for a another guy (whose name I forgot) that use to be their boss. We put the luggage in the car, walked to a old indoor market and got Tapas. After Tapas we walked around for a little bit, passed by the Cathedral and the Palace of Madrid and ended up in Puerta de Sol.
Once back in Puerta de Sol we had lunch at a sandwich place. At this place you had the option to choose between four half sandwiches and a drink for like 6 euro. They had about 18 possibilities. It wasn’t bad and they payed for it. After lunch (around 2:30), we drove to the headquarters for BEDA because JuanJo had to drop something off. Here I met a couple of people I don’t remember along with the head of BEDA, a little old but really nice women. Not every teacher has this privilege and very few have probably met her. I was starstruck. I didn’t know what to say! but it’s because they were speaking Spanish. I can imagine it was like meeting the Pope. After all that, we finally started our journey to Tomelloso, or so we thought. Juanjo took the wrong way and we ended up by the airport which is the complete opposite direction we wanted to go; the airport is in the northeast of Madrid and Tomelloso is Southeast of Madrid. Eventually we were on our way. There was some talking and some napping on my part. Once outside of Madrid the changed drastically from city to country. Outside of Madrid it’s very dry so it was almost desert like with little to no changes in the landscape. There is no constant stream of development like one sees when driving out of the city. Suburbia doesn’t exist. Pockets of towns are scattered throughout the landscape dotted with vineyards and occasionally windmills. My eyes were glued to the window. It was so new and so different; I thought it was beautiful. As we drew closer to Tomelloso more and more vineyards started popping up. Soon there were only vineyards on either side of the road broken up by bombos. Bombos are brick dome huts constructed for workers to stay in while harvesting the grapes. At around 6:30 we arrived to Tomelloso.
After arriving, I put my stuff in a hotel room Juanjo had booked and set off to look at two apartments (flats as they call them here) that were owned by teachers at the school. The first one was huge and it was only 200 euro, not including utilities. It had three bedrooms, a living room a bathroom and a kitchen. However, I needed to see more, but at the same time I didn’t really like the vibe of it. It was decorated too old for me. Also, it was kinda on a busy street and I didn’t like that there would be constant vehicular noise. The second one was right across the street and even more so on the main street. It was sightly smaller than the first, but consisted of two bedrooms, a living room a kitchen and a bathroom. Like the first one, it was decorated for another generation. Antique looking furniture and china cabinets. It was also 300 euro a month not including utilities. After looking at the apartment, she offered JuanJo, Elena and I to have tapas and drinks at her place. She lived on the top floor and had a large balcony from which we were able to watch the sun set. We left around 8:00, I walked around a bit to see the town, didn’t wander too far because I didn’t want to get lost. Found a place called New York Ceveceria and grabbed a hamburger for dinner. It wasn’t bad, but the fries were extremely salty. Afterwards returned back to the hotel, researched more apartments online, watched some tv and went to bed.