So for the first two weeks I was in Spain, I was au-pairing for a family in a small town called Arganda Del Rey, about 40 minutes south of Madrid. There were a lot of problems with this situation, mainly to do with lack of communication and personality clashes. All one has to do is Google “au pair horror stories” to see how often these situations don’t work out and how horribly wrong they can go. My own “horror story” of sorts was nowhere near as horrific as many – I was not exploited, expected to clean 20 hour days, nor did I experience discomfort from male members of the household as many au pairs report. The children didn’t summon me via whistle or anything like that. But it was still pretty bad. Especially towards the end, when the mother, who was the main source of the problem, started to act as if I didn’t exist, thereby encouraging the rest of her family to do the same. A thoroughly horrible feeling in all aspects.