the quest for wifi.

29 Sep

We don’t have wifi yet in our apartment yet (oh, and fyi it’s pronounced “wee-fee” here) which is the single most annoying thing that we have to deal with (well, besides a temperamental hot water heater, but with a brand name of “Junkers” that’s basically just funny at this point). Our next-door neighbor, however, assured us when she came over to help us figure out how to fix it that it was a “good brand”.

The last few days have been a mix of a bunch of different things. We’re getting to know our Italian roommate, Federica, who is getting her Masters in Biology (she studies Botany, and specifically saffron if I understood anything she said the first day). She doesn’t really speak English but her Spanish is pretty good, so we speak to her in that. Last night she came out to a couple bars with us and was a lot of fun. She’s 24 and from Perugia (located in Umbria/near Assisi) and has a boyfriend who is 3 years younger. Also, my high school friend AK and his girlfriend Andrea have been in town the last few days at the close of a 2-week Euro trip, so I’ve been able to explore with them and actually go see some sites.

We’ve also been assembling things we need for the apartment – we’ve visited a few furniture stores asking for laundry baskets but didn’t find anything – there’s no equivalent to Bed, Bath, and Beyond here unfortunately. After resigning our search for a later time, Kerren and I returned to our apartment where we chatted with our doorman (who is slowly becoming the nicest person in the world). We told him we were having some trouble finding some random things, so he escorted us up a couple of blocks and took us to a  “chino shop” which had everything we were looking for – and more. It may sound racist, but here Chinese immigrants run small little convenience stores – and everyone knows it. He also showed us a cheaper supermercado and a store that only sells frozen food (I’ll probably end up hitting that up more than once). He also stopped me in the foyer of our building on Tuesday just to chat for a few minutes – his son works for a government agency in Los Angeles and would like to visit, but doesn’t speak English. He then told me that my Spanish is very good (lie) but then backed that up with “my son’s English is like your Spanish – you can understand him but there’s some mistakes.” That sounds a little closer to the truth.

We’ve also picked up a solid character named Alejandro (yes, he likes the Lady Gaga song). Alejandro is the cousin of our soon-to-be-roommate from Sevilla, named Blanca. Alejandro is 20 and very eager to help us with anything, and he’s VERY chatty and social. He studied abroad for a year at Syracuse and loved how he got to experience the stereotypically American college life. He loved the “house parties and jello shots.” Tuesday night he came over for a while with his friend David and we all joked around in Spanish and English. David, who is studying telecommunications, at one point said that it is his “life dream to work in the Silicon Valley.” When Kerren said that it’s sort of boring, he replied with “you are destroying my dream.”

Also, at one point Alejandro explained that it’s weird how, for him, African Americans are harder to understand. He then did a very, very, politically incorrect impersonation – it was definitely inappropriate but funny. People are less sensitive here, and jokes like that aren’t as taboo.

As the result of exploring a little bit, we’ve stumbled upon a delicious Turkish kebab place across the street from us (our doorman told us he “doesn’t trust the meat” but we don’t care) as well as a great, authentic tapas place a few blocks away on Calle Princesa. We’ve yet to try the hamburgueseria down the street from us, but the doorman told us that it’s the “best hamburger in Spain…better than McDonald’s.” It’s probably no In-N-Out, but we’ll see.

Since I probably won’t be watching Jersey Shore this week (tragedy) I’ll try to use that time trying to find a God to pray to who may micro-manage just enough so that getting me wifi is on the to-do list.

Photographic evidence of “Junkers” 

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