Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back in Action

I'm back in Valladolid after spending three weeks in Atlanta! I'm so grateful I had as much time as it did, but my god did it pass quickly! It was a hard, fast marathon run of me trying to fit in as many of my favorite foods and people as possible into the short time I had available. I think I did quite well. I did a lot of cooking and baking, went to Taco Bell more times than I'm willing to admit, and got to see friends I hadn't even expected to be in the state. All in all, a success.

Oh, my favorite foods!

Saw Bassnectar and Pretty Lights

I really went home to see my grandpa. Now that he and his wife are living with mom, I wanted to help at home and see how everything was going. I'm so glad I went. From the time I arrived to just a few days ago, he improved dramatically. He seems to really be responding to the treatments he's taking. We're all optimistic about the future, so I feel much better coming back to Spain to finish out the school year here.

Being home was like someone pushed the reset button on entire perspective on being in Spain. Being here was starting to chafe back in November, so having a break made all the difference. Now I feel like I can start all over, do everything better, and be happier because of it.

So, what did I do to start the year off right? Well, I took a nice weekend trip to Madrid thanks to Matt. It was a friend's birthday, so we met there for a couple of days. The highlight for me was getting to see this amazing fusion jazz/flamenco band at Cafe Berlin. That and wandering around parts of Madrid I hadn't really seen before.

A bonus to having musician friends: amazing music is always in your life.

But then I got sick and got to stay in bed for a week straight...when I wasn't working that is. Nope, I have yet to miss a day of work due to sickness. Don't worry; I'd stay home if I had a fever or anything really brutal. Now I just have a lingering, annoying cough and am constantly stuffy.

The weather here definitely isn't helping things. As much as I've always loved the cold and snow (not that there's much of that in this particular city...just in every other city surrounding us! strange geographic phenomenon), it's different now because I don't have a car. Think about it! Having to walk everywhere, wait for the bus, all outside in the cold. It changes the game completely. That might sound like a very obvious realization, but, hey, I've had the privilege of having access to a car since I was 16. That and living in suburbs for most of my life...

Otherwise things have been great. My school finally found a substitute for Javier, the permanent English teacher out on medical leave, so now I'm not alone in the classroom doing things I'm not being paid to do. The sub's name is Chus. She's amazing: younger than all the other teachers, sweet as can be, great English. I've found a friend!

And speaking of friends, I put out an ad on an English class website advertising my interest in language exchanges (intercambios) where I'd basically meet someone at a cafe or bar and talk for an hour, half in English half in Spanish. I've received loads of emails back, and I've already set up three meetings this week. So far I've only responded to girls because I don't want guys to think the meeting is a kind of date. And if anyone would interpret it that way, it'd be Spanish men. Am I right? Ooohhhh, just kidding!!! ;) 

This weekend there's a potential ski trip in the mix. I haven't gone skiing in a decade, so I thought that would be a potentially nostalgic, most definitely painful experience. We'll see if it ends up happening.

I also applied to renew the grant to stay in Spain another year. That doesn't mean I'm 100% going to stay, but I figured since I'm undecided as of now I might as well file the paperwork. I once again applied to be posted in Madrid. Not sure if I'll get it, but I thought I should try. It'd be such a different experience!

Until next time... when there will be many more photos. Promise.


1 comment:

  1. jazz/flamenco fusion? that sounds brilliant. i am all of the jealousy. if you could fill me in on the band name i'd love to look 'em up