Before I get started on today's post, I would like to thank everyone who has left a comment or sent me an email commenting on the blog (or/and sharing your own stories). It can be quite disconcerting to have an entirely invisible audience, so it is great to get at least a brief check in. In case you do not have it, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Okay, so back to finding our Spanish home. For those with really poor knowledge of geography, now you don’t have to embarrass yourselves asking – where is Spain anyway, or Italy? Follow the little white lines to where Claire went and the rest of us:
And here is where Madrid is. Yes, yes, of course, the capital of Spain. (And Claire is in Grottaferatta, just outside of Rome, the capital of ITALY!)
And, of course we all know that Madrid is derived from the Muslim name, dating back to at least the 9th century AD, al-Majrit, or in Arabic, المجريط, “source of water”. That water is little evident aside from a surprising number of trees, and a yet more surprising number of swimming pools. Even the most modest apartment is almost sure to have a pool associated with it. Though it could be about the size of a dining room table.
So, here we are in Madrid, cuz of that fabulous airport that will fly Matt all about Europe, but how to decide where to live in or around a city that we don’t know?
|PLEASE! Do not attempt to drive with this map.|
The first simplifying factor was choosing the girls’ school. (If you are curious about why we chose the American School of Madrid, send me an email. I would be happy to elaborate but don’t want to force everyone through my tortured process.)
On the map, the school is the X. The airport is the funny looking triangle with a line going down, and Matt’s office is the crushed circle in the upper left. The sort of yellowy green stuff is parks and reserves. Not my most successful bit of art work.
Matt and I were tempted to live in the city, somewhere near Retiro Park and El Prada. Iris and Adele were decidedly against the city life. We looked at some homes in the outer suburbs, Boadilla and Majadahnda, but they looked too much like American suburbs. We have ended up focusing in on two towns, close to the city and the school, Pozuela de Alarcon and Aravaca.
Chris is the real estate agent who has been helping us. She is an American, but has lived here many years. The head of the American School later said we are very fortunate to have her as she is “muy enchufe”, (literally a plug, or plugged in), and that in Spain it is otherwise hard to get things to happen. In fact, without our plugged in realtor this is as much as we could see of houses and apartments:
Just this past Saturday we saw a house in Pozuelo de Alarcon, which we like very much and are considering renting:
|In the kitchen looking at the eat-in area|
|View into the kitchen|
|Iris on the back porch|