Personal contacts, personal contacts, personal contacts. As we´re already learning, things are done differently in Spain than they are in the USA. First contacts are best made in person; if you talk to somebody you don´t know for the first time by telephone, you might not get anywhere at all. Sometimes they just don´t even answer the phone. Answering machines are completely unknown.
We´re moving into a hostal today, as I´d mentioned. I had tried to call a couple of days ago to get a place there, but was told that they were full up for the weekend (which is completely true). On Friday, however, we walked over there personally and met with Fernando, the owner. We all had a very pleasant chat (in Spanish; he doesn´t speak any English), and he offered us the room with washing machine and kitchen and all starting on Sunday.
Things got even better. Yesterday we met with Lola and Eduardo, friends of a friend of ours (thanks Rachel!!). They live in San Basilio, very near the hostal, and are good friends of Fernando. While walking over to their house, we stopped by the hostal. Demetrio, Fernando´s son, offered us a glass of wine and we all chatted some more. Now we´ve progressed from making a personal contact ourselves to being friends. I feel as if we´re being welcomed into a big family. Fernando may be able to help us on finding a permanent piso as well; Tonya and I are both thinking that it would be very nice to live in San Basilio.
Lola and Eduardo took us into their house for a lovely afternoon of eating, chatting, eating, touring the house, eating, practicing English with their daughter Elena, eating, talking about Eduardo´s hiking group, and eating. Oh, and there was lots of food to eat. Lola is a wonderful cook, and Tonya joined her in the kitchen for her first lesson on Spanish cuisine.
Things are progressing well! Sorry we´re not posting pictures yet, but we´re dealing with hotel Internet connections. Soon, I hope.