Monday, January 27, 2014

Five-month Update

Wow, it's cold here in Spain. I don't have heating in my apartment, but neither do many of my friends so I'm not alone in my suffering. We do what we can to survive, such as sitting with the brasero for months, drinking coffee, coffee, and more hot coffee, and huddling indoors in warm bars. Honestly though, some nights I feel like I'm camping. Funny enough, years ago I had considered living in a camper and traveling on the road, making a living by working online or obtaining odd jobs here and there. Not that it's the same, in my HUGE apartment. Despite the fact that it's an absolute bitch to stay warm in, I still love the views of the sun rising and setting over the Sierra, my quiet street, and my caring neighbours.

In terms of my job as an English teacher..... uff, I feel like I'm working like a dog. It has been a true immersion experience, in that I work almost as hard as my friends in the village do. The difference for me has been my popularity – people are absolutely clamoring for my time, and as much as I want to help all of them pass their exams it's been impossible to say yes to everything. I'm hoping next year I'll have more time to help them, as they're all absolute darlings and invite me to hang out all the time.
Teaching the young kids English words for 'family'
There's a moment that stands out in my memory.... one night after school, some students invited me for a drink, at a bar I'd never been to. At one of the tables were two brothers. One of my students used to be their teacher, and asked me if I liked Flamenco music. He walked over to the brothers and asked them to play something. Out came the guitar and, in the near-empty bar, our group started dancing sevillanas (a type of local dance) to the sounds of Flamenco singing. So random; so Spanish!

Speaking of hanging out, Spaniards work hard and damn do they play hard, too! I can't count the number of times we've been at the bar, and I've asked what time they start work in the morning and they say “7:30 a.m.”, and I look at my watch and it's 3 a.m. Yeesh. One of my friends asked what my secret was for looking so young. Besides being Asian, I said the other secret was I SLEEP.

So I'm having a really good time here.... it's not an exciting, go-to-the-beach-all-day, travel-every-weekend kind of life, but I'm sincerely quite happy living in the pueblo. So happy that I've renewed my contract for the coming year. As a second-year renewal, I could have applied for a change in region, but I've chosen the exact same pueblo and same school, too. We'll see what the next few months bring!

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