Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tengo un piso!

After spending Monday in Sonseca, I knew my next task was to find an apartment ("un piso"). I will be honest, this was an overwhelming task, and I was not looking forward to it.

Tuesday morning I had my coffee and went for a walk to clear my head, and to remind myself of the life I am living, before I ended up a ball of stress. The beautiful streets of Toledo did the trick, and I came back feeling a bit refreshed, though still wary of the task at hand.

I walked into my room and found a new roommate, an American, from my program, with whom I had connected on Facebook this summer! The timing! We spent the afternoon together, walking through the city a bit, and went that evening to look at a shared piso in a neighborhood about 15 minutes by bus from the old city center. Though the rent is cheap in that neighborhood, I didn't feel it was where I am meant to be.

Wednesday morning came around, and the lovely hostel owner, Paco (he runs this place with the help of his wife and son) asked if we would like to look at the place he had to show (his friend from Madrid owns a few pisos, and he had one open). I had looked at this apartment on Monday morning, and fell in love with it. So Jessica and I agreed to take a look.

She, too, fell in love. It is in a beautiful, old building near the art school, and just minutes from the main plaza. It is a small, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment. It has been freshly painted, has new appliances, and it completely furnished.

There are two catches: the price, and living together (this is not what it sounds like). It is more expensive because it is in the middle of the Casco (historic neighborhood) and it is so new and clean. More than we wanted to pay, but possibly worth the extra money. Jessica and I both had interest in living with Spaniards, to improve our language skills. Obviously, we are both American, and there is not room for a third roommate.

These were the cons we were weighing against the pros. While we were thinking (and planning on looking at one other place, though we both loved this one), Paco found us to say that the owner was in the hostel that moment, and might lower the price. In the end, he only dropped it 20 euros. But, we'll take what we can get, I suppose.

After much deliberation, hemming and hawing, we decided to take the apartment. We might have to do some private tutoring to help offset the costs, but we think we will love it enough that it is worth it. And, we talked about ways to improve our language skills and decided that once we are settled we will set rules about only using Spanish, etc.

We are going to sign the contract and get the keys at 5:30 tomorrow! Yaaaay. It is such a relief. And though I know there are a few downsides, I honestly believe that the way it all worked out, this piso is meant to be our home for the next few months.

I thanked Paco for all the help he's given, and he said he was happy to do so, though he doesn't go to such lengths for everyone. He said he saw something in me and he wanted to help. I can't say enough how wonderful this family is!

Here are a few pictures of the exterior. Oh, did I mention that the apartment is in an old summer PALACE?!? I'm not sure how I forgot that. Once I heard that detail, I decided those bragging rights are worth the price tag! I'll just have to spend a bit more attention on my budget....I know this is another rambling post. Thanks for hanging in here with me this week.

Un abrazo.

I promise to post pictures of the inside as soon as I can!


  1. Sarah, my name is Karen Marciano and I am Elizabeth's Spanish teacher at Bishop Luers. Your mom gave me your blog address and I look forward to sharing your posts and pictures with the students in Elizabeth's class! I have friends and family in Spain and I hope that you might be able to meet some of them in the year ahead. Felicitaciones en encontrar el piso del casco viejo de Toledo. ¡Sé que disfrutarás mucho de vivir en esa ciudad hermosa e histórica!
    Saludos, Karen

  2. Hey Sarah! Me acabo de pasar por tu blog. He leído todos los posts. Quisiera felicitarte por tu labor en la bitácora. Puedo sentir el espíritu aventurero que te trajo a España.
    Me alegro de que todo vaya bien.
    No obstante, te sugeriría una cosa. Mientras estés en España, aprovecha la más mínima oportunidad para hablar en Español. Te lo digo yo que estuve en Inglaterra, y gracias a mi fuerza de voluntad aprendí Inglés una barbaridad.
    Así que del mismo modo, creo que deberías escribir en Español el Blog. Creo que una rutina integral te ayudaría 100%. El Blog podría ser un cuaderno de trabajo también.

  3. Karen: Hello! I have heard many wonderful things about you and your class! Thank you for your kind words! (Soon I will be writing in Spanish, too, once things settle down for me).

    Oscar: Gracias por tus palabras de aliento! Voy a escribir en Español cuando mi vida aqui sea mas tranquila. Pero, lo escribo para que mis amigos y familia puedan saber lo que me pasa aqui (y ellos no entienden Español!). Nos vemos un dia en Salamanca!