Today seems a fine day for an apartment tour!
The auxiliar program I’m doing in Spain does not assist in finding housing, so it’s all up to us. I went about this in an unorthodox way, and found my place ahead of time online, though I didn’t leak anything on this blog for a month. Why keep this under wraps, you might ask? Because everyone and their mother knows it’s a bad idea to agree to a place before seeing it and meeting the people living there, and also I enjoy a bit of infamy as The Girl Who Moved Three Times in Granada. I didn’t want to say anything about this apartment yet, in case I arrived and it was horrible and I would have to make that inevitable move, all the while suffering the shame and embarrassment that my epithet tends to bring. Luckily, though, it is as great as I had hoped, and this is the world’s way of saying, “Jenny, since you struggled so much in Granada, we are taking pity on you and spoon-feeding you this remodeled apartment with a queen bed in the heart of the city for 280 euros a month.”
I found it online in early September, as I had obsessively been checking housing websites all summer, just to see what awaited me in Bilbao. I had planned to stay 4 nights with AirBnB while desperately searching for a place once I arrived (as is the norm here–it’s actually super easy to find housing throughout most of Spain). But then an ad for this place popped up, and was one of the nicest places I’d seen so far (Spain’s apartments can be really iffy), for a good price, and had to email to see what was up. Looooooong story short, after talking to my (now) roommate Nacho over Facebook for hours, I decided the place was legit and made the leap of faith. He did too–trusting that I would show up and not flake, as I hadn’t signed anything or wired money.
The moral of the story? Sometimes things you and everyone else KNOW you shouldn’t do, like agree to a place before you see it, has its advantages: It’s a great flat, with great roommates (Nacho, from Argentina, and Graham, from Scotland) and instead of staying in an uncomfortable hostel or AirBnB situation, stressing over calling potential flats and possibly grabbing the first one out of desperation, I arrived in Bilbao relaxed. And Nacho carried my 60-pound suitcase up 5 flights of stairs, so what’s not to like?! (Oh right…it’s on the fifth story with no elevator. But no gym necessary!)