The next day I woke up late and missed breakfast at the Hotel. I went to the school, which was around the block and met some of the teachers. Hung around there for a bit and then went to Juanjos house where he made lunch. There I met his wife and three kids. His wife Anna Marie, is a teacher at the school and is incredibly nice. His three kids are extremely cute and at first were very shy. They know English but were scared to speak it to me. After lunch, we went to one of the realtor’s. JuanJo did most of the talking. We had to return later at 5:30 and wait for the owner, Paco, to get the keys to the apartments. Juanjo had something to do so I met up with Elena around 4:30. She had another apartment to show me, so we went to it. It was only about a 7 min walk away from the school on one of the main streets, but pushed back. It had 1 bedroom, a kitchen a living room and a bathroom. It was my favorite up until this point, but it was still weird. It had mismatched furniture in the living room, consisting of two leather sofas and a yellow couch and a glass table. It also had black granite looking tiles along the floor. It reminded me of Tony Montanas house. The bedroom also had two twin beds. Even with the strange assortment of furniture it was my favorite and it was only 200 euro a month, not including utilities.
At 5:45 we went to realtor to wait for Paco. Paco is a big, loud talking man. He looks like he could be in the Italian mafia. He doesn’t speak much English, which is why it was a blessing to have Elena. Without her it would have been near impossible to complete this process. He showed me three places; all had a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room and a bathroom. When he showed me the first one, I instantly like it, but it was little more expensive than the other ones at 250 euro a month. It was also only a 15 minute walk from the school, on a tree lined street. While driving to the last apartment, he had spoken to the owner and told me it would only be 230 euro. I instantly knew which one I was going to choose. After seeing all the apartments, we went back to the store and I told him that I am interested in signing a lease for the first one. I would have to pay the first month, 230 euro, a months deposit 230 euro and 115 euro to Paco for the realtor’s fee. I didn’t have 575 euro in my pocket so I had to wait until the next day.
I stayed one more night in the hotel, made it to breakfast and met JuanJo at the school at 10 because he was going to come with me. When I got to the school, he was busy so I decided to take money out of the ATM. This was a journey. There’s a lot of ATMS surrounding the school but none of them would let me take out 600 euro. I found one that let me take out 300, but then I couldn’t take out more. I walked around for 15min more, trying to find others that would let me, but none would. I went back to the school and told Juanjo. He said that we could go to the bank to exchange US dollars that I had. We went to the bank and after some discussing they finally allowed me to exchange the money. Luckily, I had 500 US dollars, however with the exchange rate I only got back 370 something euro! It sucks. We went to Paco’s, signed the lease, gave him the money and bam! I was now renting an apartment in Spain. I brought my stuff into the apartment, met the owner because he was installing a desk and he had to sign the lease. I didn’t even have a chance to unpack because I was meeting Elena and one of the teachers back at the school because she was making us lunch. Carmen is the teacher and she is in her fifties and extremely nice. She made a typical Spanish meal that I forgot the name of. I spent the whole afternoon with them. Showed them my apartment, realized I only had one fork and no strainer, so we went to Paco’s to tell him, but it was closed. While all this was happening, Juanjo had called Elena (I didn’t have phone service yet) and asked her to ask me if I wanted to go biking with him and another teacher Alberto. We went back to my apartment, I changed and then they dropped me off at Juanjos at 630 to go biking around 7. If it were not for Juanjo and Elena helping me along the way; from picking me up in Madrid to helping me find a place in Tomelloso I would probably be hating life.