24.02.19 — Journal

How To Adult

It’s been a fortnight since my last blog post, and one week since I moved into my new flat, and boy have the two weeks been busy! When I’ve moved flats around Madrid in the past, I’ve only ever had the logistical problems to worry about, which weren’t usually too much of a drama as I could fit all my stuff into one suitcase. This time, however, there’s been much more to sort out.

Some of the nonsense I’ve had to sort out this past week has included ringing the electricity company to change over the contract, contracting and organising the installation of fibre internet, various trips to IKEA to pick up essentials such as a mattress and cutlery, and a lot of toing and froing as I stocked up on supplies from Mercadona. I even managed to get myself empadronado, meaning I have properly registered my address with the local government – which may sound minor, but with the amount of times I have tried and failed, it’s a big accomplishment for me! It really has been a week where I’ve discovered just how to adult.

The sky sometimes puts on a show on my way back from work.

The big task though – the move to my new flat – turned out to be pretty easy in the end. I packed my suitcase in the morning, had an argument with a bus driver who wouldn’t let me on because the case was “too big” (even though the bus was pretty much empty), and eventually grabbed the Metro to my new pad.

As I’d already dusted the place and moved the mattress into position a couple of days in advance, I was able to arrive and unpack at a lovely leisurely pace. In the afternoon I did a big shop to fill my cupboards with some food to get me going, and then nipped back to IKEA to pick up towels, pans, and a few cheeky plants for decoration.

The next morning I was excited to make my daily porridge breakfast using my new pans, and it was when the hob started beeping at me when I realised that I’d been stupid and bought two pans that didn’t work with an induction hob. I made myself a rather picturesque alternative breakfast, but then it was back to IKEA again in order to exchange them. You live and learn!

A lovely breakfast tainted by the thought of having to make yet another IKEA trip.

Once I’d sorted that little issue out and bought myself another plant to make myself feel better, my first week commuting from my new flat begun. We’re pretty busy in the office, and so outside of work hours I’ve been keeping myself social and occupied to keep my mind off all the projects.

One of the more spectacular events of the week was a 360° video mapping installation to celebrate 400 years of Plaza Mayor, the big central square in Madrid. I met up with Bogar to check it out, convening in the plaza at 7:30pm as the streetlights were extinguished and the show began!

The only photo I took really does the event no justice, as it was a stunning immersive journey through the 400-year history projected onto the four façades of the square. Accompanied by a matching soundtrack and some cool spotlight effects which lit up the sky, I included a video made by the local council which should give you a taste of what it was like.

Afterwards, we headed up to the north of the centre to escape from the crowds and have a delicious slap-up tea of subs and pulled pork fries at La Casa Tomada, the restaurant where Bogar works.

Thursday marked the day of my appointment to register my address with the council, and so off I trotted to the very north of the city. I had to make a trip further even than the airport, to an area called Barajas, as it was the only office with a slot which wasn’t months ahead!

As I arrived at the metro station, I thought of Dani, my art director from back when I first started at Erretres three years ago, as he lives in the area. I was considering taking a photo of the sign to send to him as I ascended the escalator, when who should show up waving from the downwards escalator but the man himself!

After a quick sprint back up to ground level, we stopped for a super quick catch up for a couple of minutes. It was lovely to find out what he’s been up to, but we had to cut it rather short as I had an appointment to make and he couldn’t be late for work. I stopped for a quick coffee and some breakfast, and then meandered the streets of the rather quaint neighbourhood as I headed to the oficina de atención al ciudadano – the office I had to go to in order to file the paperwork.

Príncipe Pío

After successfully sorting the papers there, I headed back to the office and got straight back to the plenty of design work that needs doing. A nice break did come, however, in the form of a studio visit by a local college. Me and Luis spent an hour with the students presenting our projects, recounting what it’s like to work in a design studio, and answering a plethora of questions that they had. It was as useful for me as it was for them, though, as it was yet more exposure to presenting in Spanish – something I’m slowly doing more and more of. I think my A2 Spanish teacher would be proud!

With that I bring us to the end of the working week and up to this weekend. Yesterday I found myself making another trip to IKEA to grab a few more things and choose the sofa bed I am going to buy just as soon as I get paid. It can’t come soon enough, too, because my friend Em has just booked to visit in less than one month! I had better get this place looking more like a home!

I shan’t share any more photos of my flat until I’ve got the sofa in and everything nicely decorated, for I’ve a vision of how it’ll look in my head and I don’t want to spoil the surprise! That said, this week looks to be very busy in the office, and so I won’t be back with updates until next weekend at the earliest. Until then, ¡chau!