Day one hunting: simply tearing numbers off billboards and calling numbers. That's how it's done in Spain, it's not something weird or dodgy, rather most people post offers of lessons, cleaners, carers and flats on posters all round the city. Quite handy actually and no expensive estate agents required.
Day two: Succession of strange houses including one where I wouldn't have a bedroom door and one where the girl had a ten minute phonecall before saying hello to me while I stood awkwardly in her hall...
Day three: Slightly better. A day of "This flat is perfect, except--"
Day four: Other wise known as the best frickin day ever. Three great houses in a row, concluded by one where the people had sought me out themselves on the online flat hunting site. The Spanish girl who lives there hopes to study in Belfast one day and the other girl is coming from Ireland this week. It's 5 mins from the bus station, doctors, all shops you need near by and bus stops AND ten mins from the beach. I move in tomorrow! I knew the Irish card would pay off.
|Flamenco music on top of La Guajira|
Lessons learned during flat hunting:
1. Good shoes are 100% essential. Running shoes saved my life and yet the blisters still remain....
2. Your instincts are almost always correct, if you don't like how an area or house feels now, you never will. There's one part of the city I just can't make friends with and I knew I didn't want to live there. That's why a day just walking round the city first was very helpful.
3. I hated this advice but it is true- Don't take the first flat you see just because you want to get one. Unless you stumble upon a dirt cheap mansion it's better to see a few options to get the feel of the general housing standard in the city. Then you can decide if you're being short changed or getting a good deal.
4. Yes it feels like shit going to house after house and not finding what you want. Feel free to be moody and eat comfort food. Donuts. And chocolate. In fact I think chocolate donuts should just be freely supplied in every estate agents.
Hasta luego amigos :)
*EDIT: Oh also forgot to mention. My description says I fully expect to get lost constantly. Well this week was a blinder for that. I've never managed to walk in an exact circle before when I thought I was going in a straight line, and yet I've managed to do that three times this week. An. exact. circle. And I even had a map! Urgh.