Some of you may have already heard this, because I got a little copy-and-paste happy on Facebook, and I’m about to do it again:
Miguel, Nuria (the parents), Irene, Ineva (the girls), and I went to the mall in town so I could get a phone and some groceries. The mall is really close to the house, so when the family ran into some people they knew and decided to hang out, I went back to the house because their niece and I had immutable plans to watch 500 Days of Summer. I realized, though, as soon as I left their table, that I don’t have my keys, and I remembered that I left them in my jacket pocket, but left my jacket at the house. As soon as I got to the house, I checked my purse again, but no dice, and the gate was locked. All the houses in Valdemoro have this really tall locked gate in front, and then six or seven steps, and then the front door. So I buzzed the doorbell over and over, because I knew Lidia was still home (the niece), but she never answered. So after awkwardly pretending to look in my bag while the girl next door walked out to her car, I put my groceries down, threw my bag with my passport over the gate (I didn’t want to leave it on the sidewalk), and scaled the fence, hoping none of the neighbors saw me. I hopped down, managed not to kill myself, and knocked ferociously on the door, which Lidia promptly answered. I searched and searched for those keys in my pocket but…..they were in my purse.
We’ll call that Dumb Emily Moment #1. DEMs #2-13 are much smaller, and not really worth mentioning, and mostly deal with me not understanding Spanish but pretending that I know what people are telling me (don’t do this, y’all), like turning on the hallway light when I was really asked to go shut off the stove, or going to the store and not printing a sticker with a bar code for my oranges, in turn holding up the line during grocery rush hour.
Then there are the Double-Take Moments. Some of these are welcome (seeing a golden retriever [most dogs are tiny Yorkshire Terrier types]), some not so much (the guy who pulled out a camouflage rifle case on a Sunday morning [not a lot of deer in Madrid, señor]). Most things are just different, even from just a year ago when I was in Sevilla. People are much more likely to use debit and credit cards than they were last I was here, but when they do they always hand over their ID as well, which we rarely do. The entire city seems to spend its Sunday at the park, though to be fair, it’s because the weather is gorgeous and little else is open.
In all of these moments, the Lord has shown himself faithful. I am not as homesick as I expected, though it does hit me like a migraine every so often. Valdemoro is easy to get around, and I love the parks. The family is sweet and the food is good. But most significantly, I have found my church home.
I did my Googling before I came; I’m sure very few of you are surprised. I knew Oasis Madrid (an English-speaking church in the center of Madrid) was one I was seriously interested, and I visited Saturday with enormous success. I met some fellow Texans, a British girl named Polly, and Carolina, a native Madrileña. The service was contemporary and genuine, with solid leadership and teaching. I’m hoping to become more involved, and have a meeting with one of their directors tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes!