Madrid Updates- Off to Espiritu Santos!

I am moving today to an apartment on Espiritu Santo off of the Noviciades metro stop today. I am really excited because the area there is much more exciting than my area and it is much closer to everything I enjoy! The famous and huge Parque Retiro is only 12 minutes away on the same metro line, whereas from Calle de Panama, I had to change lines twice and it took me 35 minutes. It is also way closer to school! It will take me half the time to get to school than it did before. I will also be living closer to the rest of the students. Overall, I am extremely happy.

I am sad to leave my host mother, Teresa, though. I really like her a lot. We bonded and she even showed me her childhood pictures. (The other student Rachel hadn’t even seen them and she’d been here for 5 months—I’ve been here for 5 days… My life.) It was just such a struggle to get her to make me food without dairy. She could adjust to the pork thing more easily. There is another student here whom she also cooks for, so she would have to prepare more than one meal. We both cried when we talked about me moving. She told me that she agrees that it is best for me to go to an apartment because I am uncomfortable with people waiting on me and I don’t need someone doing my laundry and cooking my meals for me.

True story bro. It’s my parent’s fault I am so independent! Which tends to drive people I am closest to nuts, because I am a terrible communicator. I am working on it guys.

Although, I am ecstatic to leave her sister—Christina. Christina fell backwards down stairs for 4 meters and is thus injured and being taken care of by Teresa. Cough cough… Karma. ( Half kidding—because that is terrible.) Christina is a colorful person to say the least. Even though Teresa already knew about my dietary restrictions, she lectured me on how this is a good host family to live in. And how in Ireland when she lived with a host family, they served her cold meals. I also shouldn’t expect a restaurant. I was thoroughly insulted. I love Teresa with all my heart. She is so sweet and loving and very maternal even though she doesn’t have any kids. I never demanded anything. I merely told her that I couldn’t drink milk because I get very sick. I even tried to drink milk and got very sick! I also do not eat pork for religious reasons. When she continued her attitude, I told her that I wasn’t sure if it was because her English wasn’t as thorough as mine, but she had sincerely hurt my feelings and I needed to leave the situation for a while. So I went to my room and contemplated, and decided to move. Because living with Teresa means living with Christina. And I am unwilling to deal with that.

Christina however is unaware of the implications of her comments though. I saw her this morning and we had a nice chat over coffee and she asked me to please visit after I move.  I will visit, but I am definitely not coming to see her.

Teresa, Christina and her ex-husband Jose Luis are all also heavy smokers. They smoke inside the house. I am sensitive to cigarette smoke. They also have an indoor dog. I love puppies, but I prefer to stare at them lovingly as opposed to snuggle in my bed with them. It is just my own personal preference. I am more of a fan of outdoor pets. So going to this new apartment means no more smoke and no more pets!!!! I also won’t have to wait until 9:30 PM to have dinner every day. I will be given cheques and credit cards to purchase/ cook my own food. Needless to say, I am so excited.

I fully plan on visiting Teresa once a week for lunch with my (now former) roommate Rachel, whom I also love. We are planning on getting lunch, and maybe even our nails done together! Last night she helped me fix my nails and we talked and had a great time. I am so comfortable with Teresa. She is so wonderful. But there are times when you just know what is right for you in your gut. And moving will be better for my experience in Spain. I always look at both sides though, which is why making decisions is usually so hard for me.

I know I am making the right one.

Here’s to a new beginning (only a week after my last), a sense of comfort and a learning experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Love,

Aisha

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