Saturday, September 10, 2005

Becoming a fully-functioning member of Spanish society

Today, I acquired a mobile phone. Until today, I had been calling the mobile phone numbers of the (many) listed room rentals from a pay phone. That was not only inconvenient (while there are plenty of public phones, they aren't on every corner), but dear. I've got less than two Euros of the 12 Eurosworth of calling cards that I had bought, and believe me, I haven't talked that much.

Calling a cel. phone here is unlike calling a cel. phone in the States in that here, the caller is the only one who pays. Unlike in the States, where you pay for the minutes of the calls that you've received as well as of the calls that you've made, here you just pay to make calls, and you pay a lot. It costs something along the lines of fifty cents to just connect to a mobile from a pay phone, and then it just swallows the Eurocents like nothing.

So now that I have a phone, I can send text messages, which is what everyone here does, since it's too expensive to call. My phone is cute; it's the Alcatel OT565, which is is a camera phone. The picture quality is bad to middling. I'm on Vodafone, which I got since they're having a promotion right now in which you get double the money in minutes when you recharge the phone, and it came with 24 Euros of time on it. (I edited out some boring details of phone acquisition here.)

I looked at a windowless but expensive room off of the Plaza Mayor today that is in what is actually a really nice apartment; the catch is that the two girls who live there each get two fairly-sized rooms, and each of them has a balcony overlooking the entrance to the Plaza.) The room that's open for rent is not only more expensive than any of the individual larger rooms, but it also has no view (being windowless), and it was made pretty clear to me that the public areas in the house are actually all windowless (which is unfair of me, as there is a light well off of the kitchen. I suppose.) I'm considering it, but only as a last resort. While I did get a surplus of sun this summer, I think that I would wake up in a panic on a pretty regular basis if sleeping in a windowless room. We'll see.

I'm going to look at two places unimaginably far from the center tomorrow: both are on the farther reaches of line seven of the Madrid metro. One of them doesn't seem to be reasonably close to a metro stop at all, and I was advised to take the bus from the center rather than the metro. Since the place I'm going to look at first is reasonably (I hope) close to the metro, I'll just take the metro instead of figuring the bus out.


Anonymous anyblock said...

I'd rather live a fifteen minute walk from public transportation than in an apartment with no natural light. On the other hand, I'm living in a place that's fifteen minutes from the train and has very little natural light, so I guess you can manage anything as long as you remember it's temporary.

8:54 PM  
Blogger AV said...

Some of the PT in Madrid puts you _really_ far away from the center, though--one place was about a fifteen-minute walk from the metro, plus a half-hour-plus ride to the center of town.

7:55 PM  

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