I'm not sure if I had a great long tem plan or I was just gambling on the most viable option.
The answer I most regularly gave on my being in Spain was - to learn enough of the language to eventually return to my career, probably in Barcelona or Madrid, and later travel in South America… and now here I am in Madrid back on my old career path and travelling in South America is a mere casuality, I could go today for the weekend if the fancy took me.
But those are the types of questions I usually only think of the answers to because someone is asking me. When the words first slip out of my mouth they feel to me a little like a lie. I wonder why I'm pretending to this person that I have ambitions other than feeling nicely high (whether that be on weed, on sport, on attraction, or on wherever the good chems are coming from) and being fully captivated by some enjoyable activity I'm engaged in.
Nevertheless, here I am in Madrid back on my old career path.
And it has not been an easy transition. I arrived in Madrid with very little money, no business clothes, months without practicing Spanish, nearly a decade without working. After the interview, they left me floating around Spain for 2 weeks, which burned up some cash. Then my first wage was for half a month. I slept mostly in hostels for 6 weeks. As Feb became March prices went up, especially at weekends when I slept in a church pew to preserve funds. I didn't sleep well most nights and got progressively more tired to the point of crying through sheer exhaustion… plus frustration at the sharp contrasts of the dual life I was living.
Whilst my colleauges were going home at night to their comfy whatevers, I was coming 'home' to find a coat or hat has been stolen, getting into a fight over a tin of tuna or choking a guy robbing my laptop in the street or being cornered in the toilets of a homeless refuge by a guy who thinks his girlfriend wants to fuck me or, on the very best of nights, sleeping max. 4 hours in a room full of farts, snores and drunk kids noisly coming home.
When my 2nd pay check was late I had to go to my boss and say "if I don't get some money right now, I can't eat tonight or get on the train tomorrow". She didn't have any money on her and to save my further embarasment pretended that she needed to borrow some money and went around the office hitting people up for cash.
Meanwhile, I became instant friends with Hernán, a Venezuelan kid who runs this (https://www.lareperabar.com/
) small bar in the center. He let me control the music, which… come on… I'm your brother and customer for life if you do that. He followed my plight from day of arrival pre-interview, through to near ruin and desperation.
A few days before begging cash off my boss, Hernán got the keys for a studio flat right by the bar and he gave them to me. I moved in a few days before him and lived there rent free for a month on the fold out sofabed. I'm looking to move into my own place any day now.
If that hadn't happened, I would have had to have slept 4 or 5 working days in a row in the homeless church and would still be living in hostels now. I definitely did not make all the right decision and gambled on short odds but it worked out and now I have a great friendship with a great guy and I met a few other cool people along the way, but that's another story.