Niacka Carty: La Jarosa


I did not notice the difference in the landlord and tenant relationship immediately after arriving in Spain; however, upon noticing the difference this week, it is nearly impossible not to discuss. Unlike in the United States, landlords in cities tend to frequently stop by to wonder how the tenants are adjusting to their new apartment and to make sure the apartment is tidy. Though it is customary for tenants to have a cleaning person or staff here, depending on the apartment size, that person or group of people may also complain to the tenants about how untidy the apartment is. Some of the friends I have made here told me that they were asked to clean something in their apartment in front of their landlord. Thus, it is clear that Spaniards view renting an apartment differently. It is safe to say that renting an apartment in Madrid can be compared to living in someone’s basement. Additionally, friends are not allowed to stay over for more than two days. This type of restriction is evidently new for me. Moreover, landlords do a great job of monitoring this rule as well. Some of the same friends had a difficult time telling their landlords that their visitors are solely visitors and will leave later the same day. I’m still adjusting to the landlords’ active presence during my stay in Madrid.
A part from the strict parenting aspect of the landlords here, I find them to also be approachable and very friendly pertaining to non-residential affairs. I’m also encouraged to ask about tourist-like activities I can do while in Madrid. I was invited to go to a site seeing trip a bit outside of Madrid last weekend with other tenants as well as friends. The all day trip was to a famous reservoir, La Jarosa. It is the smallest reservoir Sierra de Guadarrama mountain area. La Jarosa is known for its vast pine forest, lakes and meadows surrounding it. When we embarked the area, I was reminded of the countryside-like view I see on the train while commuting to school. (I found out later that some of that area is a military zone). This reservoir is breathtaking and peaceful.
It was refreshing to escape the hustle and bustle of Madrid. I enjoyed picking up white frosted pine cones and smelling its scent, climbing on rocks and taking photos of the vastness of the area.

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