Friday, 17 April 2009

New home, old rain!

My lovely, new, sunny flat is not quite living up to its reputation! It's been raining pretty much ever since I arrived on Tuesday evening. Today it decided to dump a downpour on the washing that was valiantly trying to dry on the balcony.

Thanks to the lovely Nacho (Ignacio) and his Citroen C3, I didn't have to move house on the metro. That would have been interesting, with a huge suitcase, rucksack, laptop bag and 3 bags of food (and beer!) But not only did he help me move my stuff, he carried most of it up the 4 flights of stairs to the flat. Trust me to move to the 4th floor in a building with no lift. When I move out, I think I'll just throw everything off the balcony!

My new flatmate, at least for the next 6 weeks, is a lovely Dublin girl called Eve. She's a happy, bouncy, athletic thing who has a penchant for Spanish men!! ;-) I'll be disappointed when she moves out, her company has been a nice change from my little house on my own before. She's also letting me use her laptop while mine is being repaired/replaced - for this I will be eternally grateful!

Talking of the laptop, I deposited it at the Toshiba repair place near here on Thursday morning and IF I understood the lady correctly, they should call in 2 working days if it's repairable on-site, but if it has to go back to Toshiba then it'll be another 3-5 days on top of that. I'm not holding my breath but it still sounds theoretically quicker than the probably guaranteed minimum of 2-3 weeks it would have taken in the UK. Where I would also have had to post it, insure it etc etc instead of just dropping it off at an authorised repair centre.

The weather hasn't been conducive to doing much over the last couple of days so I've wandered around the new local area, stocked the fridge (though I appear to have run out of beer AGAIN!) and made inroads into getting some work. I emailed every Spaniard I ever met on a Vaughan Town to explain that I'm in Madrid and available to give English classes. Within 12 hours I had one definite request for lessons, plus a potential offer of teaching someone's 2 daughters (ages not yet known - could be interesting!) So things appear to be moving. My American, chirpy, eternally optimistic mate Julie also has a bit of a plan for when she returns in September which I'm hoping to be part of.

It's Friday so it's the English speaking meet-up at Brasserie Locandita tonight, after which I've been invited to a party. Hopefully I won't be paying the price tomorrow! ;-)

Monday, 13 April 2009

One of those days? I hope so!

Started the day with a very long walk to the main police station just to pick up an application form for an NIE (the foreign residents number thing!). Lots of people there, the guy on the door pointed me towards a queue so I joined it. There didn´t appear to be anywhere to pick up a form and take it away so in the queue I stayed for 40 minutes until I reached the front. There I was met by a very fierce looking woman who listened to my (admittedly probably not very good) Spanish request for a form, shouted loudly something about "Do you have a certificate?", thrust a small piece of paper with a phone number on at me, which when I tried to take, she took back and put it under her desk, shooed me away and took the next person in the queue. I wasn´t really in the mood to try again.

So I decided to download the form off the net and fill it in at my leisure. Great idea til I got to the net cafe, settled down with a drink and a cake, only to find that my laptop appears to have crashed. It won´t load XP at all, no matter what I do. Just goes through the motions then very apologetically tells me XP isn´t loading. I´ve tried Start Normally, Safe Mode, Back to Last Known Good Configuration.....nothing. Not playing. Unimpressed. Tomorrow I move to a flat with WiFi and was all excited about being on the net all the time, and now no bloody laptop! Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

However, the day wasn´t a complete disaster as I did have gorgeous veggie lunch at Yerba y Bueno, which Julie had picked up a leaflet for. Scrummy!

So if anyone has any suggestions for how to fix my laptop (and no, I don´t have the XP disk, it wasn´t provided with the machine), I´ll be very grateful!!!