So after the demise of the Freedom Apartment, I lived with a few friends in order to get back on my feet. The truth is that it was a pretty rough time getting my life back in order.
I spent about two years working a full time job and working on the weekends as a beer-tender in order to save up for my master plan – moving to the big city of Madrid, Spain. I had studied in Madrid a few years prior and I really enjoyed myself. Everything was so European and cool – so relaxed, carefree and really, really smokey! I loved it and vowed to go back.
So, after the fire the plan was to save and pay off debt and move all the way across the ocean. Now, even in my wildest thoughts I am still very practical. I knew that Europe had been Euro-ed and that things were more expensive than when I had visited the peseta-loving country that I once knew. So how, in addition to building up my savings was I going to make a living in Spain? Why, teaching English of course! And where was I going to live? Well, with crazy wackjob, Diana and her son, Jaime, of course!
It was the perfect setup. I found Diana on Craigslist (Yeah, I know). She wanted someone to teach English to Jaime everyday in exchange for room and board. And she lived in the center of Madrid – Malasaña, a cool hippy part of the center. Perfect – I was going to be a cool hippy expat!! I was going to hang out in cafes, drink beer at lunch time and have long wavy hair and everything else that entails being “Euro-trashy – but still classy”!
It really couldn’t have been a better setup. I was so relieved that I was going to be able to arrive in Madrid with a place to stay. Of course you might be thinking, “Hamatha, how did you know this lady wasn’t a killer or something?” Well, we agreed to meet beforehand when I arrived in Madrid. She was even going to meet my mother, who had come with me to hang out for two weeks. What kind of serial killer would agree to meet your mother? Good God, if only I had known ….