So my plane was about an hour late out of Dublin and I didn't get to my apartment until around 11:00 - two hours after I'd arranged to meet the doorman and get my keys. Complicating matters was the fact that I wasn't exactly sure of my apartment number so I had six floors of two apartments each to choose from in the hopes that one would buzz me in. Much buzzing ensued, but from no one's end but my own. I spoke to one guy who listened to my story, then told me "Lo siento" (I'm sorry), and hung up. It was one of the moments where you think to yourself, this isn't really happening to me, is it? It can't really be happening, right? This is too bad to be real, please? someone? anyone?
Some of you may know this story already (Mom I may have screened it from your ears), but I had a similar experience down in Peru when I oopsforgotmykeysinthecab. My cab driver dropped me off outside my apartment, which is walled in with a locked gate to keep out the hoodlums. Good idea, except that it also meant knocking on the door would only mean that my pitiful attempts at SOS would be sent to an empty courtyard. Not helpful at 2 o'clock in the morning, not helpful for a gringa in a place that kinda has a reputation. (See why I didn't tell you, ma?) THIS ISN'T REALLY HAPPENING TO ME, IS IT? IT CAN'T REALLY BE HAPPENING, RIGHT? THIS IS TOO BAD TO BE REAL, PLEASE? SOMEONE? ANYONE? My cabdriver showed up with my keys a few minutes/an eternity later.
Anyway, back to Spain. Finally my hand has arrived at the buzzer belonging to floor six, and the merciful fool in apartment number 11 lets me in. To sit. In the foyer. Waving my arms wildly every five or so minutes to turn the motion sensor light back on. Then the gods smiled upon me. My roommate Henrique came back to the apartment around 12:30 (btw, isn't this the city that never sleeps? why was no one else up and about?). He let me in the apartment and showed me around. Bienvenidos a Madrid.
My bedroom window faces a charming brick wall and my mattress has stains on it the likes of which I've never seen, pero es mi propia preciosa habitación! I have a suitcase full of things to unpack, so of course I took off immediately and walked around for most of the day yesterday. Last night I met three people in my program and am feeling much better about being a stranger in a strange land. Two for one daiquiris and birthday gelato (preceded by birthday frozen yogurt), improved my moods considerably. When I got home I actually met the guy who had refused to let me in the previous night while he was walking his dog. Damn thing looks like an ottoman in a cute way (the dog), making it difficult to hate the man entirely (a little bit). I have yet to meet two of my roommates and am wishing desperately that one of them will (surprise!) turn out to be Nic, but in the meantime I'll just continue to peer pressure her to visit me for Christmas. Miss you!!