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The first visit

The Education Office in Murcia was heaving with people when Maggie went to sign off her new contract on Wednesday. Apparently it was the day that results in the Oposiciones - the competitive exams that local government and civil servants take to guarantee them a "job for life" - had been published and all those hopeful teachers had gone to see how they'd done.

We went on to Cartagena to have a look at her new school - José Maria de Lapuerta - named apparently for a famous architect. The district or barrio looked pretty normal to us, a bit down at heel in places but a good, solid working class district with plenty of signs of a recent influx of people from other countries - kebab houses, places to make cheap phone calls to Nigeria, Sierra Leone or Rumania and strange vegetables in the greengrocers.

We had a first look around Cartagena city centre too, I dropped off a CV in any language school we passed and we sort of looked at rental prices and what not. The first of many visits I presume and just 109kms and 85 minutes from Culebrón.


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Looking for a flat

Finding a house to rent in Spain is usually a pretty straightforward process. When I say house I really mean flat because, although it's not impossible to find houses in the middle of a town or city, by far the most usual style of dwelling for urban Spaniards is the flat.
I need to qualify this a bit further. It's easy to find a place if you are willing to pay an estate agent. The other options involve walking around random streets looking for to rent signs with your mobile phone to hand. We've only ever done it a couple of times and it has not produced good results.
The internet has made it a slightly less fraught process to find an individual renter and the place that Maggie rented in Ciudad Rodrigo came that way. Even then it takes ages to sift through the various websites usually to find that nobody answers your email or phone call except for the estate agents.
The estate agent method is the most straightforward but also the most costly. The standard charging process…

Where am I?

When I wrote the last post on this blog - Looking for a flat - I should really have written it on the Life in Culebrón blog because that's where I am at the moment.

In fact, apart from working in Cartagena it looks as though my links with the place are about to be cut. I am in the process of signing up for a flat in La Unión and the logic of naming the blogs must mean that the active ones are the places where I have a kettle. La Unión and El Culebrón.

There is a tab at the top of the page to navigate there or this is the link

Casting off

School term is over in Spain. It's summer. Nearly everyone from Cartagena is at the beach. The town is quiet and we are done, at least till the new academic year when I'll be back to do a bit more English teaching.

We've cleared everything from the flat. We've carted our belongings up the road to Culebrón. We've handed over the keys of the flat. So goodbye to town life for a while and goodbye to Cartagena till I get back there in hot and sticky September.

In the meanwhile you can follow our adventures (sic) at Life in Culebrón