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We FINALLY found a place to call home for the next year. It wasn’t as easy as it seemed at first but it’s certainly nice to be settled in. I do think piso hunting has been one of the best ways for me to get a feel for Madrid and its different neighborhoods. We also met some interesting people along the way.

Out of the nearly 10 pisos we saw, 3 stand out as truly…..different. There was the older lady who didn’t want to live alone and offered us some rooms in her home, as well as meal preparation at the cost of nearly half our salaries.

There was the bus driver with the incense and fountain near her front door who must have sensed our ‘good auras.’ She proceeded to encourage our living with her by assuring us we could all go out until 6 am on the weekends.

Then, there was the place we thought was going to be our home for the next year. Seriously. It was in a good part of Madrid, near public transportation and a GREAT price. We moved in. I unpacked all my stuff. Only later did we discover our roommates were smokers. Womp womp. Obviously this is not a big deal for everyone and certainly not a huge deal in Europe. But we were having none of it. Second hand smoke not only exacerbates my heinous allergies, it also freaks me the hell out. Chalk it up to my paying too much attention in health class – I want as little to do with it as possible.

We tried to compromise but our roommates insisted on smoking in common areas of the apt rather than just their rooms. Honestly I don’t blame them – they’d been living their longer and who were we to demand new conditions? So, we moved.

It was stressful but a quick turnaround. Saw a place yesterday morning, loved it and today I am all moved in and so much more relaxed than I have been. The new place is lovely, with lots of light and is located in an even better area of Madrid than the first! Sure, we are paying significantly more; but it’s worth it if it’s going to be home for the next year. I am still able to live with a fellow Fulbrighter, as well as 2 Spaniards (who are students and don’t smoke!). All’s well that ends well. Here are some pics:

Big, open living/dining area

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My room

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