Mucisimas gracias

Authored By Brian

This complete stranger just opened her doors to me and invited me to stay. She is either incredibly generous or incredibly crazy.

I’ve been back in Madrid now for a couple of days. I’m staying with an Ecuadorian girl named Mariela whose roommate is out of town for a couple of weeks. The people here are so friendly it’s honestly hard to accept. I don’t know this girl at all. She saw my post about the bullfights from a month ago and emailed me while I was in Greece. She said she didn’t like bullfights but would be interested in other things like museums or concerts, etc. I told her when I came back I would call her except I didn’t have a place to stay. She straight up offered to let me stay at her apartment. Now, you get someone over the Internet offering to let you stay with them, as I’ve learned, you must be careful. I suggested we meet first and then we could decide if we deemed each other safe and sane.

I met her Tuesday night at my hotel on Gran Via. She had a couple of girlfriends with her, Martina and Gloria. We went to an Irish pub for a cana (beer) and to get to know each other. All three of them were incredibly friendly and we got along great so at the end of the night I accepted her offer. Now I’m sitting in her living room using her DSL connection doing some contract work. The graciousness of strangers…

The timing couldn’t have been much better because Wednesday I had a conference call that I needed high-speed Internet so I could use my Vonage VOIP softphone to call the States. I managed to find and install the Telefonica drivers just as the call was scheduled to begin and it went off without a hitch. Technology is pretty sweet.

Technology however unfortunately also brought me some very bad news. Jennifer left me a voicemail that her mother passed away while we were in Greece. She had been battling cancer for some time and couldn’t kick her pneumonia. Her body finally gave in. It’s been a very difficult struggle for Jennifer because of her somewhat uneasy relationship with her mom. I feel terrible that she is so far away and I can’t be there to support her. :(

The only thing distracting me is needing to find a place to stay for a month or two. I think I’m going to make Madrid my home for two months. That will give me enough time to get some work done and learn some Spanish.

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