Saturday, April 1, 1989

Not Much of a "Fooling Around" Day ...

I didn't waste any time, and actually started off with some April Fools' Day Jokes around midnight, but this wasn't much of a day for fooling around. Today, all but two of the students moved out of the Residencia.

This day was a bit of a mess. Viv and I packed our things in the hostel, took some of our bags and headed for the agent's office, where we were to meet everyone at 11.00 a.m. We got a late start, and didn't get there until 11.30 a.m. - but, of course, we were still the first ones to arrive. It was then that Sanchez, the agent, told Viv that he couldn't accept the check she had written out, and that we would have to go and cash it. So we left to cash it, but Viv only had two checks left, and wrote out the first one for an amount that was more than was allowed, so that check was void. She wrote out the second and final check for 30,000 pesetas, the maximum allowed, which gave her just enough money to pay for everything.

After a bit more running around, I went back and paid for the room at Villa Garcia. It started with me having a difficult solo attempt at talking to the hotel manager, trying to explain to him what was going on, that I was waiting for Viv to arrive. He had no idea what I was saying, but we managed to keep things afloat until Viv arrived to translate for me... and rescue me. Following that we paid for that.

It was after all of that confusion that we finally got all of our bags in the new flat, located just off Gran Via. We then made our way to Gran Via to find a place to eat (after borrowing some from Angie, since we had no money once again.) While out we found a shop that sold everything, so we went in to price things that Viv would need. While there we saw a little restaurant in it, so we ate chorizo sandwiches, walked around the store a bit more, and then headed out to Gran Via, casually walking up and down looking at the many shops and movie theaters.

Next we caught the Metro down there and took it to the Residencia to pick up Viv's remaining items. While there we learned that Kurt was supposed to arrive by 2 p.m. However, it was now 3 p.m., and he still wasn't there yet to get the rest of his stuff and to help some of the others with their bags. Liz, Viv and I went out so that Liz could get something to eat, and when we returned, Kurt still hadn't arrived. He finally got to the Residencia at 5 p.m. - punctual as usual!

Soon, everyone was at the flat and the next question was, who will get what room? It went surprisingly well, actually, and when it was done, everyone was happy. Kurt and Angie, as expected, got the back room. Liz and Raquel both got the single rooms, Rowan and Claire got the open room located next to the cheeky frog Isabelle's room, and Viv got the big room with the balcony at the front of the flat. It's the room that is intended to be the sitting or living room. The only problem with it is that it doesn't have a wardrobe.

After we got the rooms sorted, Viv, Liz and I caught the Metro to Madrid 2, a huge shopping mall on the outskirts of the city. We spent most of our time in one store, Alcampo, buying various provisions for the flat. This was followed by a brief search for McDonald's for some dinner.

After eating, we returned to the flat to find our room had to be reworked. The TV that was there went into the storage room, as did the single bed frame. We pulled out the two single mattresses and a double bed frame, but the mattresses were too large for the frame. (Isabelle had the double mattress, but wouldn't trade with Viv until the morning. Cheeky frog.)

So we plopped the two mattresses on the floor, made the bed as best we could, ate some sandwiches as a late night snack, and shortly afterward, went to sleep.

Not much in the way of April Fools' jokes today.

Pictured top is the Fuente de Neptuno in the Plaza Canovas del Castillo. It is located in the center of a roundabout outside the Ritz Hotel. We were not staying in anything resembling the Ritz Hotel, of course. The second photo is of Alcampo at Madrid 2.

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