Only two weeks in, so I'm still settling into my new city, Jaén. I feel discombobulated, but I remember I felt this way in Villacarrillo in October 2013, so poco a poco. First impressions:
- Jaén really IS a “big pueblo”, as they say. True, it's ten times the size of Vcar, but there are so many pueblo aspects: the empty streets on Sundays, people STARING, and not a lot of English (although the level is higher than in Vcar).
- There are some 'bad' parts of town. For example, the “Poli”. 10 p.m. is basically the cutoff for a Canadian like me to walk around there.
- One of my students asked if Asians eat cats. WTF. In reality, I smiled and said no. In my mind, I bodyslammed him.
- High school students are not as bad as I'd thought. I came into this job with a sinking feeling in my stomach, but I changed my attitude and they're actually okay people. Except "cat boy" (see above).
- About a week ago the rain started pouring almost every day. People are depressed, but I kind of like it because it reminds me of home. Terrible for the Jaén feria, though.
|Jaén's opening parade for feria|
- Dog owners: you need to pick up after your dogs. Seriously. It's as bad here as the streets of Paloma, Italy. I get asked what I think of Jaén's monuments and I answer, “I don't know because I'm too busy LOOKING AT THE GROUND WHILE I WALK.”
- There is a running track near my house, and at night it's lit with a few lights but crowded as hell. Moral: don't wear black. Other runners won't see you and you'll get bodyslammed.
Although I severely miss Vcar, I do see the advantages of living here: easy access to train travel and better Blablacar trips (putting “Villacarrillo” as my starting point didn't do me any favors); things to do on Sundays; gyms where women lift weights, a running track at night; and university classes. I'm still working on settling in, but I'm confident it won't take too long.