My apologies on such an extreme delay updating on anything substantial. I am officially in my teaching location in Granada (hooray) and am currently writing this e-mail from my bed in my new apartment. So let me catch you up to speed…
I concluded my home stay on a lovely note with my Spanish “familia.” They are such darling people. My senora gave me two bracelets as a parting gift with a stone on them for good luck. They told me that if I ever needed anything, they would help me.
All in all, my time at my language school was valuable. I can speak in more tenses than the present now. Which is helpful. Previously, I would start every sentence referring to a time not in the present with “in the past” or “in the future” and then proceed to speak in the present tense. It got old. And people had a hard time understanding me. Unfortunately, I did not manage to woo my teacher. However, he did give me B/A’s in the class (not that it counts for anything…) and wrote nice comments about my SPIRIT (legitimately) on my progress report.
On Saturday, I made the three hour train ride to Granada. It’s really beautiful here and the people are SUPER nice. Fun fact: When you order a cerveza here, you get a FREE tapa with it. I like free! I like tapas! I like cervezas! I like Granada! 🙂 I haven’t had much time to explore and discover yet. I have been a woman on a mission. The mission: find an apartment.
I looked at roughly 10 places. It was like Goldilocks and the tree bears. Too expensive…too far from work…too small…etc. The other really challenging aspect of this process is that it’s impossible to understand people on the phone and I am bad with maps. I got lost every step of the way. To every appointment. I misunderstood every person. Tres (3) sounds very similar to seis (6). E in Spanish sounds like our A. Sometimes people tell you the wrong bus route.
My friend Alex accompanied me, which was helpful because he is far superior to me in Spanish and he has a sense of direction. And it was nice to get a second opinion. I finally settled on a mediocre apartment close to my school with really really nice Spanish roommates.
Here’s the scoop:
Two roomies: Elias (el-eee-us) and Ana. They are cousins. Both 22. Elias is in a rock band and plays the guitar. Ana studied architecture and is looking for work. They are very kind, and just giggle politely when they don’t understand me. They want me to help them learn English, and make them “American” food (whatever that is…hamburgers?). They do understand a little bit of English but they did not learn American English. So whenever I tell them a word in English and they look confused, I try again in British English. For example: Trashcan= no go. Rubbish bin= yes.
They try really hard to say my name the way that I say it, but its never going to happen. I heard them practicing in the other room today…it’s really precious. Elias made me dinner tonight, and we bonded. He’s super nice. I asked him all of the Spanish social norms and about the concept of last names in Spain. Very informative.
I’m not going to lie. My apartment is not the most beautiful. My room is nice, but…the whole thing is kinda old…for example… when I want to take a hot shower, I need to turn on a the gas, and then use a LIGHTER to light the gas. I am not good with lighters. I have genuine fear that I am going to burn down the apartment complex.
Next up: get a bank account and start work on Friday!
To conclude, I’d like to state that I now have copious amounts of Internet and will use my free time from here on out to respond to e-mails, and welcome phone calls via Skype!
Besos y abrazos.
I can’t believe that in just a few days I’ll be in Spain! I’ve been anticipating this trip for so long, and its finally here.
I have my visa, my plane ticket, all of the information I need for my arrival, but I haven’t even begun the daunting task of PACKING everything I need for 10 months into ONE suitcase. For those of you who have ever had the pleasure of seeing me right before I am leaving for a long trip or moving out of a house…packing is not my strong suit. I am a chronic over-packer. But in this case, I need to be strategic. I need to pack clothes and shoes for three seasons, in addition to miscellaneous teaching materials.
Other than packing, I have sent the school I’ll be teaching at in Spain an e-mail in my semi-broken Spanish (most of which was reviewed by the lovely Candace Avalos). I also reviewed different apartments nearby and wrote a couple e-mails to possible roommates hoping to set-up appointments to tour the different options. Finding a place to live is a cause for anxiety. Do I live with Spanish roommates and be the weird foreign girl or do I live with people from my program and stay in my American comfort zone? I’m leaning towards Spaniards but I’ll to play it by ear when I get there.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog from time to time over the course of this adventure. I plan to update frequently. I hope the headline image will become a little more relevant as I get out with my camera. Right now, the picture is one I took of the Mediterranean when I was in Cinque Terre, Italy. So expect a full visual tour of Andalusia as I make my rounds 🙂