I am going to begin this post with a simple vocab lesson ¿A qué hora? (What time?) and ¿Cuándo? (When?)
When we first arrived Trey and I both were so overwhelmed with joy that time was not much of an importance. We were just adjusting to our new schedules and the urgency to get things complete, the way we were so very accustomed to in the great United States, was not something on our minds AT FIRST. Then our hardwired brains of urgency settled in and the okay let's get this shit done... began to rear its head.
The first week we immediately decided a new bed was a must. If we were going to travel and work we needed a good bed! We went to the very well known department store here called El Corte Inglés. It really is an incredible store. 8 floors of cosas (things). It truly is a one stop shop. From groceries to pet store, to makeup, to furniture, to hardware, to electronics... you name it and an El Corte Inglés associate could help you find it. Not to mention the most friendly customer service I have ever received in a store EVER! We went to the 5th floor and began to look at beds. We played on a few and that is when we met Francis! Oh sweet amazing Francis. She spoke only Spanish and she and I talked back and forth to try to understand what it was we were looking for. When I began to talk to her about delivery and cost she knew we were serious and called for a translator. We explained our situation to the translator and she agreed that sleeping in a bed that had a broken bed frame was horrible. Francis threw her hands up in the air and said No No No! She told the translator to tell us what having a bad bed would do and she would call the manufacturer to have a rush order delivered to us immediately. We were in shock at her reaction and were happy she had a sense of urgency to save our backs. She called her store manager that afternoon and told them we were a rush delivery. Normally these things take about two weeks to process but Francis made it happen. She told me we would receive a call on Monday with date and time for delivery. First thing 9:30am Monday morning lo and behold I received a call from the El Corte Inglés delivery department and they said they would be there tomorrow at 3pm. The very next day they were there at 3 with our new bed. Trey and I slept like a dream that night and lay awake talking about our incredible experience in Madrid. "Wow they sure do get things done quickly here in Madrid and so relaxed about it...." Those were our famous last words.
Finding our way around and getting into a daily schedule was fun to discover. We have had our challenges, one being the language barrier, and the and most important lack of urgency. The mantra if there is a will there is a way...was repeated over and over to each other through the remainder of the next 3 weeks to keep us motivated to get settled. As we tried many ways to achieve what we thought would be an easy task of hooking up basic internet turned into several hours of conversation, 4 meetings, 3 different stores and 3 attempts of installation. Just when we thought we had everything we needed another bump in the road occurred. It felt very similar to the Consulate process. With the small difference of no one giving you any information at all with the Consulate, where in this situation they would give you so much conflicting information if would make your head spin. Finally, after meeting our property manager the 3rd time, the internet supply company granted us our wish of having internet for our house, and a land line. It is much more expensive to call even within the country on our prepaid cell phones than it would be to call a local number on a land line, which is free! I know, strange, right!?
Our property manager here was kind enough to let us use his Spanish bank account and we pay him directly for our internet, which was already included in our rent. So in the end our internet was in my name because he had too many accounts, and we used his account because we did not have a Spanish bank account YET. That is another post at a later day! I will also be posting pictures of our little apartment here in Madrid and the contact information of the man behind all the work to get us set up without a hitch; David Farmer with ReserveBookGo. All in all, we finally received internet and are now working on joining a mobile contract to avoid monthly fees. Moral of the story: persistence is key and if not today there is always mañana!