Monday, March 27, 1989

Flat Decisions ...

Easter Monday is another "big day" here in Spain, which means that the banks were shut today as well. I awoke this morning to the sight of ants crawling all around Dave's room (obviously, they are friends with last night's cockroach).

It was late morning by the time I woke up, and it was soon time for lunch. I grabbed a shower after leaving "the zoo," which was followed by an adequate meal. During an afternoon plagued by loafing, reading, and playing cards while everyone else was studying, Liz and a few others returned from whence they came.

With Liz here, we were prepared to finally take a look at that flat the students are interested in letting. Unfortunately, Liz disappeared before we left, so we had to make the trip without her. We took the Metro to Gran Via, saw the agent, who gave us the key, and we then walked to the flat.

It was a dive.

The flat was messy, with junk all over the place. It even had graffiti painted all over the walls in the hallway. It needed a lot of work, but it was huge and cheap - about the same for five to stay here as it would cost for one to stay at the Residencia.

Initially, the answer was a unanimous "No." But further consideration on the way back left it again up in the air as a possibility.

The lecture from The Old Man back at the Residencia during a repulsive dinner (fish cake thingies) sealed its fate. He talked of a student's duty to study and not fool around, and offered to give the students Statistics lessons for £25 a month. (Viv translated for me.) He said all of this while everyone basically ignored him and showed him no respect whatsoever, simply continuing to carry on their own conversations while he talked.

Granted, the way he runs this place, he deserves little respect. Still, I felt a little bit sorry for him when he was being completely disregarded by the students. Hopefully he will learn a valuable lesson from his errors. These students really got ripped off by these people here.

Well, as talk among The Five (Kurt, Angie, Viv, Liz and Raquel) leaned towards taking the flat (Viv was still very skeptical and unsure), the evening continued. Later, many of the students went out, but Viv and I stayed behind, again because we have no money until the banks open tomorrow.

So instead we played two games of checkers (draughts), which I won, and then a first-to-five series of Gin Rummy (I won again, 5-4). Then when that was finished, we parted our separate ways for the evening. I had trouble getting to sleep at first, but managed.

Pictured is the cover of the Metro map I used during my stay in Madrid. It didn't take too long before I didn't really need it to get around. I would show you pictures of the flat but, well, more on that later.

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