I adore my host family! Isabel, my host mother is a first-year student at the University here in Madrid studying Psychology. Isabel used to work in the office of a Spanish television network before she went back to school Her daughter, Irene, is also a student studying Psychology. Irene speaks a little English, but Isabel only speaks Spanish. They are very sweet and especially paitient with my Spanish, always gently correcting my mistakes. I really enjoy talking with them about their perceptions of American culture because they are so surprised to learn certain things. The other day, I told Isabel that Americans eat dinner between 5-7PM, and she could not believe it. "And after dinner they don't eat anything else?" she asked me. Maybe a midnight snack, I answered. Among other surprising discoveries for Isabel is that Americans usually only eat eggs at breakfast (they are usually served at lunch or dinner in Spain).
Our apartment is on Paseo de la Castellana, one of the main roads in Madrid, convinietly located near the Chamartin Metro and Train station. I usually take the metro to the International Institute; however, I recently discovered the bus which allows me to see the city (and I love it!).
The apartment is very spacious with a living room (salon), a den (estudio), three bedrooms (habitaciones), and three bathrooms (banos). Sara and I share a room with our own desks and our own bathroom. One thing I am still getting used to in Europe are the tiny, tiny elevators. They usually only fit 2-3 people, or 1 person and a huge suitcase.